Huawei has little choice but to accept a call by US authorities to clarify its relationship to China’s government.
The vendor and its local rival ZTE have been asked to send senior managers to testify before the House of Representatives intelligence committee, as part of the US’ ongoing probe into the security of the Chinese firm’s kit.
A report from Reuters indicates that ZTE has agreed to send a reasonably senior manager to the hearing, which could take place early September. But there’s no official word from Huawei beyond a statement regarding its participation in the proceedings to-date.
Huawei will almost certainly acquiesce to the request, if only due to the precedent set last week in the case of champion US cyclist Lance Armstrong. US anti-doping officials have seen to it that Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for refusing to continue fighting allegations of drug taking during the event.
The mentality behind the decision is that refusing to defend yourself is tantamount to an admission of guilt.
Huawei and ZTE have fought a long battle to assure US and European authorities their telecom equipment businesses are free from Chinese government interference or financial backing. To back out now would undo those efforts at a stroke.