Does China’s National Intelligence Law compel Huawei to plant so-called “backdoors” in telecommunications infrastructure?

According to two independent, international law firms Zhong Lun and Clifford Chance, Chinese law does not compel Huawei to install so-called “backdoors” in telecommunications infrastructure. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China has also confirmed this claim is based on a misreading of China’s National Intelligence Law.

Clifford Chance reviewed an independent verification by Zhong Lun, which found the relevant articles of the Counter Espionage Law, the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Cyber Security Law, the National Intelligence Law, and the State Security Law do not empower PRC government authorities to plant so-called “backdoors,” eavesdropping devices or spyware in telecommunications equipment.

When asked if China would request a company to spy on other countries, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters that “this is not consistent with Chinese law. This is not how China behaves…we did not do that and will not do that in future.”

Huawei has never received such a request and we would categorically refuse to comply if we did. Huawei is an independent company that works only to serve its customers. We would never compromise or harm any country, organization, or individual, especially when it comes to cyber security and user privacy protection.