Feeds

Osborne to China: Keep watching Downton and we'll gloss over Huawei security worries

Chancellor snubs infosec snubs, opens Blighty's kimono

High performance access to file storage

Chancellor George Osborne has said the British government will happily let a state-owned Chinese firm manage Britain's communications infrastructure – as long as the People's Republic keeps on watching hit British telly series Downton Abbey.

Osborne kow-towed to infamous network infrastructure biz Huawei during a speech to students at Peking University, which marked the beginning of a five-day charm offensive in China.

He said that Britain would not block Huawei from investing in Britain, even though a growing list of countries including the US, Australia and India have either banned Huawei kit outright or imposed additional restrictions on allowing the Chinese firm's gear into their national networks.

Osborne told the students: "Take your great high-tech company, Huawei. There are some Western governments that have blocked Huawei from making investments. Not Britain. Quite the opposite.

"That is why I was pleased to welcome Huawei’s opening of a flagship office in our country in June, and of £1.3bn of investment that came with it."

So what does Britain get out of this deal, which has always been controversial, given the fact that Huawei was founded by a former member of the People's Liberation Army and still maintains strong links with the Chinese state?

Osborne wants to work with China on big issues like technology, bioscience, green energy and third generation nuclear power, but he also had a few other ideas about what China might like to buy from the UK.

He said: "Last year, goods exports from Britain to China grew faster than any other European nation. As your country and its people grow richer, I hope you will want more of the goods and services Britain can supply... our modern pharmaceuticals. Our premier luxury brands like Burberry and Paul Smith. Our excellent cars from Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley. Our aero-engines from Rolls Royce and airplanes from Airbus. Our high quality film and television, from James Bond to Downton Abbey.

"At 160 million, more than twice as many people in China are watching the goings-on in Downton Abbey as live in the whole UK."

Some critics will say that a deal with Huawei is dangerous, because it is consistently accused of spying for the Chinese government.

However, Huawei denied allegations from a former American spy chief that it carries out espionage on behalf of China. It also dismissed claims that its links with BT are a threat to British security.

Instead, Huawei told The Reg that it posed no security threat to Western states and was simply interested in a "packet in, packet out" policy.

The Chancellor has also announced he will relax visa requirements for Chinese visitors in a bid to attract businessmen and tourists alike. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.