After revelations from documents provided by Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency hacked into the servers of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, the Chinese government on Monday called on the United States for an explanation. From Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times:
On Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed “serious concern” over the news reports about the N.S.A. and Huawei, and called on both countries to step up efforts to end the spying.
“We always believe that Internet communication technology should be employed for a country’s social-economic development, rather than Internet espionage and monitoring,” said Hong Lei, a spokesman for the ministry. “China has also consistently advocated that the international community should work together to draw up relevant regulations to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace.”
Reaction to the news reports was relatively muted in the Chinese state media. There was limited coverage on the nation’s main news portals, and almost none of the indignant commentary that is often seen after such disclosures.
The relative absence of invective may have to do with timing. Michelle Obama arrived here last Thursday with her mother and two daughters for a weeklong tour of China, and President Xi Jinping met with President Obama on Monday afternoon on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague. [Source]
Huawei also condemned the reports, which appeared in The New York Times and German Magazine Der Spiegel. From Reuters:
“If the actions in the report are true, Huawei condemns such activities that invaded and infiltrated into our internal corporate network and monitored our communications,” Huawei’s global cyber security officer, John Suffolk, told Reuters.
“Corporate networks are under constant probe and attack from different sources – such is the status quo in today’s digital age,” said Suffolk, defending Huawei’s independence and security record, saying it was very successful in 145 countries.
[…] “We certainly don’t build ‘back doors’,” Huawei security chief Suffolk said. Suffolk, who is British, said the company never handed over its source codes to governments either.
“I can’t say what American firms do. We have never been asked to hand over any data to a government or authority or to facilitate access to our technology,” he said. “And we wouldn’t do this either. Our position on this point is very clear.” [Source]