Feeds

Spooked spooks made Symantec end Huawei fling - new claim

Affair thwarted info sharing with US spies

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Security biz Symantec called time on a joint venture with Chinese telecoms equipment goliath Huawei because it feared the tie-up would prevent it from gaining access to classified US intelligence on cyber-threats, according to a new report.

The New York Times cited “two people briefed on the deal” as saying Symantec’s withdrawal was an attempt to allay any US concerns over its links to the Chinese tech giant at a time when the American government is looking to share more information on threats with the private sector.

If true, the report would seem to fly in the face of the well-rehearsed media line the two firms have been spinning since the end of the partnership was announced in November.

At the time, Symantec CEO Enrique Salem said the four-year Hong Kong-based venture had achieved all of its aims and that the security company would exit having made a good return on investment.

"Four years ago we established the Huawei Symantec joint venture for three specific reasons," he said on a conference call announcing the news.

"First, to gain experience in building and selling appliances. Second, to increase penetration in the China market, and third, to move closer to the networking side of the telecoms segment. I'm pleased to say that we've achieved all of our objectives and believe this is the right time to sell our stake in the joint venture."

Huawei has been dogged by speculation that it represents a risk to US national security – scuppering bids for network infrastructure firm 3Com, server tech biz 3Leaf and a deal to supply mobile telecom equipment to Sprint Nextel.

The rumours surround its links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), specifically its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei who served in the PLA but, as Huawei is at pains to point out, had no military rank.

However, this month a US defence contractor Northrop Grumman claimed that Huawei functions as an “advanced source of technology” for the Chinese military. It continued that joint ventures between Western and Chinese firms could lead to intellectual properpty theft and the long-term erosion of competitiveness for the former.

Huawei hit back at the security company's allegations by saying that “no one has ever offered any evidence that Huawei has been involved in any military technologies at any time”.

The manufacturer has sought to build closer ties with US industry, ploughing $6bn into the faltering economy last month in the form of contracts with OEMs Qualcomm, Broadcom and Avago in California.

That hasn’t helped the firm in Australia: it emerged this week that similar security concerns were behind Huawei being asked to not bid for the National Broadband Network project there.

Symantec declined to comment on the NYT story while Huawei had not responded at the time of publishing. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.