Britain criticizes Huawei over security issues

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The report accused the company of failing to fix unsafe flaws in its telecom technology.

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said revenues topped $100bn in 2018 despite a US-led campaign against the business on fears it poses a security threat.

Huawei, the biggest global maker of switching gear used by phone and internet companies, denies USA accusations it facilitates Chinese spying. Officials from the National Cyber Security Centre performed a review of the RTOS development effort at Huawei's facility in Shanghai and concluded that they "did not have sufficient evidence to be confident in the long-term sustained engineering of Huawei'sown real time operating system", the board members noted.

However, it goes on to say that the concerns relate to "basic engineering competence and cyber security hygiene" and that the NCSC does not believe the defects are as a result of Chinese state interference.

The report also claims that Huawei made "no material progress" in addressing the security flaws, which were not named, and is doubting Huawei's capability to deliver on proposed measures to address "underlying defects", Reuters reports.

That marked the fastest pace of business growth in three years, compared to a 28 percent rise in sales revenue in 2017 and 0.4 percent in 2016.

"We prioritize cybersecurity and privacy protection even above our commercial targets", Guo said at a news conference.

"We do not hope to see rising protectionism in countries like Japan that are supporters of free trade", ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular briefing in Beijing.

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Suspicion over Huawei's ties to the Chinese state is nothing new, but it's the world's top telecoms equipment vendor and its products are widely used. The technology is meant to vastly expand mobile networks to support self-driving cars, medical devices and factory equipment, but that makes it more politically sensitive. Huawei denies the accusations.

The company also is grappling with the December arrest of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei. It released the report on March 28th.

Both companies have been arguing that as long as Huawei technology is kept out of the "core" of the 5G network, any security issues can be dealt with. "The European Commission earlier this week issued recommendations for EU countries to share their security assessments and come to a joint position on whether to allow Huawei into their networks", Politico reported. Carriers complain that would reduce competition, raise prices and delay the rollout of 5G services.

Huawei has opened testing centres in Britain, Germany and Belgium for regulators to examine its products.

A Huawei spokesman said: "A high-level plan for the programme has been developed and we will continue to work with United Kingdom operators and the NCSC during its implementation to meet the requirements created as cloud, digitization, and software-defined everything become more prevalent".

Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, told reporters earlier this year the latest USA criticism had yet to hurt sales.

Despite this, revenues for the firm reached 721.2bn RMB and net profits skyrocketed 25 percent to almost 60bn yuan, according to the company's 2018 annual report.

However, the surge in its consumer business sales to a record 348.9 billion yuan, driven by demand for its premium smartphone models such as the P series and Mate series, helped push global revenue to above $100 billion for the first time.