Congressional warning on Huawei too late

18:55, Oct 08 2012

A warning from the United States Congress intelligence committee against doing business with China's Huawei has failed to move New Zealand's Crown Fibre Holdings and 2degrees, both already signed up.

Committee chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, said in a CBS television interview that US companies should "find another vendor" if they cared about their intellectual property, "consumers' privacy" or the national security of the US.

The comments were among the most direct in a long-running campaign by US politicians aimed at reducing the reach of the telecommunications equipment giant, which has an annual turnover of US$34 billion and now does 70 per cent of its business outside China.

Huawei supplied the technology for 2degrees' mobile network under a financing arrangement. It also won contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to supply equipment for the ultrafast and rural broadband initiatives, after ministerial visits from Tim Groser, Steven Joyce and Bill English.

Crown Fibre and 2degrees both declined to comment on the reported comments.

Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat on the intelligence committee, said the "overriding concern" was that the Chinese Government could "exploit Huawei's presence on US networks" to intercept communications, disrupt critical services and wage a cyber war. Fairfax NZ