Chinese telecoms equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has called on the US Department of Commerce to explain why the company has been excluded from participation in the construction of a national wireless network for emergency responders. Last week the Chinese firm confirmed that the Department of Commerce told it that it was barred from participating in the project due to ‘US government national security concerns’. Huawei’s role in the initiative would have centred on testing the interoperability of elements of the wireless network, which is meant for use by police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers. The company, which established its US headquarters in Plano, Texas in 2001, has repeatedly seen efforts to expand in the country run into opposition from Washington, concerned by Huawei’s alleged links to the Chinese military.
William Plummer, a Washington-based spokesman for Huawei, told Bloomberg that the decision could jeopardise Huawei’s investment in the US, where it currently employs 1,500 workers, and spent around USD6.1 billion on goods and services last year. Plummer commented: ‘Notwithstanding that it is an ill-founded, ungrounded determination, it could have a chilling effect on our greater US business activities and accountability needs to be defined appropriately. No one has ever factually demonstrated otherwise, and playing Huawei as a pawn in some geopolitical game of chess is doing nothing more than threatening US jobs, investment, competition and innovation. Huawei has demanded to know which statutory authority and regulatory regime the latest decision was made under, but the US government has yet to respond.