10 June: Huawei official grilled by MPs over company’s alleged involvement in China’s human rights abuses

Published on June 10, 2019 by

Huawei Global Cyber Security and Privacy Officer, John Suffolk, faced questions by the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee about Huawei’s alleged involvement in China’s human rights abuses in London on Monday.

The committee’s Chair Norman Lamb kicked off the session with a question on whether business should be done “with a company that is complicit in human rights abuses,” to which Suffolk said, “I think you should do business with all companies that stick to the law.”

The Huawei official refused to answer a string of questions on whether he would be willing to take a job “with the repressive government.” He stressed that “the law defines the ethics” because he said “in essence it’s for the governments to define what is right and wrong.”

Suffolk faced questions during the session on the future of the UK’s 5G infrastructure. The topic was brought to light as former UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson revealed the plans to partially integrate Huawei’s technology into the UK’s future 5G infrastructure, after which he was fired by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

There are some countries that directly oppose Huawei such as the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which have banned the company from involvement in their 5G networks. Many critics fear that involving Huawei will expose the UK to cybersecurity risks.

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