China's Huawei says will increase transparency

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October 24, 2012 1:49 PM EST

Chinese telecoms equipment firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd pledged on Wednesday to increase its transparency to counter security concerns, proposing to set up a cyber security evaluation center in Australia.

Huawei, which was barred from participating in Australia's $38 billion high-speed broadband network and was the subject of a U.S. Congress committee recommendation that firms stop doing business with it, said the proposed center would give complete access to its software source code and equipment.

A similar center was set up two years ago in Britain, where Huawei is involved in the rollout of the national broadband network, with the cooperation of the government. Security-cleared staff test Huawei's hardware and software at the UK center to ensure it can withstand any cyber security threats.

Huawei has proposed similar measures in the United States.

"Huawei has done a very poor job of communicating about ourselves and we must take full responsibility for that," the chairman of its Australian business, retired admiral John Lord, said on Wednesday. "Huawei has a duty to set the record straight, to dispel the myths and the misinformation."

Australia and the United States cited security concerns for their actions against Huawei this year, prompting Canada and Britain to also look into similar issues.

"We sincerely hope that in Australia, we do not allow sober debate on cyber security to become distorted the way it has in the U.S.," Lord told the National Press Club in Canberra.

Huawei, the world's second-largest maker of networking gear, started its Australian operations in 2004 and has expanded its business across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

It has become a significant market force in the region, supplying equipment to Optus and Vodafone and conducting trials with Telstra Corp Ltd.

Huawei Marine Networks, a joint venture between Huawei and Britain's Global Marine Systems, is involved in building two telecommunications submarine cables between Australia and New Zealand and between Australia and Singapore.

Huawei's local board in Australia also includes former foreign minister Alexander Downer and former premier of Victoria state John Brumby.

(Reporting By James Grubel, Jane Wardell and Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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