Chief security officer for Huawei USA, Andy Purdy, has said that the company would be open to mitigating US national security concerns, in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday.
Purdy said in the interview that "in different countries in the world, we negotiate with respective governments on what kind of assurance framework they need." He went on to explain that there may be some requirements "around selling to government or to critical infrastructure projects." Purdy could not say what the US government would want in return from Huawei, but he would be "astounded if we weren't open to those kinds of risk mitigation measures."
This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Huawei does desperately want to enter the US market, not only to sell smartphones but to also sell networking equipment. But right now, that's on the back-burner. As the main thing Huawei needs right now, is to be able to work with its partners like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm and others.
Purdy appeared with Huawei's outside counsel, Glen Nager on CNBC on Wednesday. And that came on the same day that Huawei filed a motion for the courts to rule this ban unconstitutional. Nager also explained why it is unconstitutional, and that this is "not normal". Usually companies are able to tell their side of the story, like providing proof that they are not working with the Chinese government, but that did not happen in Huawei's case.
The US government has been after Huawei for over a decade. But things really picked up under President Trump, especially after the trade war with China was started. The US has been taking it to Huawei in an attempt to use the company as a bargaining chip in the trade war, to get China to come to the table. In fact, President Trump said that he could see a deal with China that would include Huawei.
Last week, things really took a turn for Huawei. When President Trump signed an executive order that essentially blacklisted the Chinese company. Meaning that it could no longer do business with any US companies. After that executive order was signed, we slowly saw its US partners drop business ties with the company. Google was first to do so, followed by many others. But we have also seen a number of European companies cutting ties with Huawei, including ARM, which was a pretty big deal. ARM licenses chip designs to chip makers like Huawei's HiSilicon, meaning Huawei could no longer use its design and architecture on its chipsets.
Huawei is adamant that it is not working for the Chinese government, and has said that the US government has zero proof to the contrary. It has also said that the UK and German governments have proof that they are not working with the Chinese government. Never before has a company been blacklisted for something that there was no proof of. ZTE comes to mind, but there was plenty of proof that it was violating US sanctions with Iran and North Korea.