Media Statement Regarding the 2019 HCSEC Oversight Board Report

The 2019 HCSEC Oversight Board Report again recognises the effectiveness of the HCSEC. As the report says, "The oversight provided for in our mitigation strategy for Huawei's presence in the UK is arguably the toughest and most rigorous in the world. This report does not, therefore, suggest that the UK networks are more vulnerable than last year."

The 2019 HCSEC Oversight Board Report details some concerns about Huawei's software engineering capabilities. We understand these concerns and take them very seriously. The issues identified in the 2019 HCSEC Oversight Board Report provide vital input for the ongoing transformation of our software engineering capabilities. In November last year Huawei's Board of Directors issued a resolution to carry out a company-wide transformation programme aimed at enhancing our software engineering capabilities, with an initial budget of US$2bn.

A high-level plan for the programme has been developed and we will continue to work with UK operators and the NCSC during its implementation to meet the requirements created as cloud, digitization, and software-defined everything become more prevalent. To ensure the ongoing security of global telecom networks, the industry, regulators, and governments need to work together on higher common standards for cybersecurity assurance and evaluation.

Further information:

  • The mechanism of collaboration between Huawei and the UK government continues to work properly – the identification of the issues in the 2019 HCSEC Oversight Board Report is an indication of the HCSEC model working properly.
  • The report states that "HCSEC continues to provide unique, world class cybersecurity expertise to assist the Government's ongoing risk management programme around the use of Huawei equipment with the UK operators."
  • Over the past 30 years, Huawei products have served 3 billion people in more than 170 countries, these products have performed above the industry average in terms of system stability and reliability.
  • On 27 December 2018, Huawei founder, Mr. Ren Zhengfei, issued an open letter to all employees, entitled Comprehensively Enhancing Software Engineering Capabilities and Practices to Build Trustworthy, Quality Products, to outline the transformation programme and the reasoning behind it.
  • The level of assurance provided in this year’s report is essentially the same as it was in 2018. 
  • The report states that "NCSC does not believe that the defects identified are a result of Chinese state interference."
  • The telecom industry requires unified standards for cybersecurity, which are necessary for its healthy development.