Huawei USA security chief minimizes intellectual property theft claims

Andy Purdy, Huawei USA chief security officer, on Friday minimized the company’s repeated claims of intellectual property (IP) theft.

“There are instances of wrongdoing by us and other companies, and any instance of that is wrong,” CNBC’s “Squawk Box cited Purdy as saying.

“I’m saying when you conflate it to be this gigantic thing, that’s not true.” Purdy added.

Rivals as well as U.S. government has repeatedly accused Chinese telecommunications giant of IP theft. However, Huawei has reinstated its respect for intellectual property rights. Purdy, when responding to IP theft claims earlier in May, told CNBC that he does not “forgive acts that have happened in the past.”

When asked about it on Friday by CNBC’s Becky Quick, Purdy, who is also a former top cybersecurity official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, rejected claims that Huawei is a repeated perpetrator of IP theft.

“I understand that’s your position. I understand that’s the position of the U.S. government,” Purdy said. “That’s not the facts, when you look at the objective information.”

Purdy on Friday also added that a report about the Chinese tech giant receiving billions in government financial support was “drastically overstated.”

Purdy’s interview was two days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei had access to as much as $75 billion in Chinese support over the past 25 years, to eventually grow and become the largest telecommunications equipment company in the world.

The newspaper reported that a large part of the assistance, around $46 billion, derived from loans, credit lines, as well as other state support. Additionally, the company saved more than $25 billion in taxes between 2008 and 2018 with state incentives and got $1.6 billion in grants and $2 billion in land discounts, the WSJ added.

“The fact is there are lines of credit issued between 2005 and 2011,” Purdy stated. He also added that a “tiny fraction” was ever used was from loans from customers.

“To take the gross figure of the credit lines is really not fair to talk about that as being assistance from the government,” he added.

Credit lines should not be considered government assistance for the company, since they were made available by banks to customers, he said.

Source: CNBC