Monday, January 07, 2013

Legacy of Fear 

It might seem an over-reaction for a US nuclear lab to pull out Chinese communications equipment, but the Chinese brought it on themselves.  The country's recent history of industrial spying, whether government-sanctioned or not, raises a credibility issue.  Huawei is affiliated with the Chinese government.  It is a precaution not allow its equipment in areas of national security.  That written, American companies have aided the US government in spying over the decades, and their equipment has rarely been publicly blackballed.  What is the difference?  A legacy of fear lies at the root of the government's decision to remove Huawei's gear.  From a PR perspective, it is up to Huawei to ease that fear.  This might require the company to put a greater distance between itself and the Chinese government.  It also might demand extraordinary transparency about the design and manufacture of its equipment.  Since electronic gear is extraordinarily complex, and traps can be hidden throughout it, Huawei has a challenge to prove its innocence.


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