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Mon 7 Oct 2019 12:33 PM

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UAE telco Du says no evidence of security issues with Huawei's 5G

Huawei is a central figure in the worsening China-US trade rivalry, but it continues to report strong business in the Middle East

UAE telco Du says no evidence of security issues with Huawei's 5G
Du chief technological officer Saleem Albalooshi.

UAE telecoms giant Du sees no evidence of what the US government called potential security holes in Huawei’s 5G technology, the company’s chief technological officer Saleem Albalooshi told Reuters on Sunday.

“Huawei is our partner in rolling out our 5G network... From a security perspective… we have our own labs in the UAE and we visit their labs... we have not seen any evidence that there are security holes specifically in 5G,” Albalooshi said.

Washington claims Huawei’s equipment could allow China to spy on global communications traffic, and is urging allies to shun the company in 5G networks.

Huawei, the world’s biggest supplier of telecommunications networking equipment and number-two smartphone manufacturer, has denied the allegations. They were raised earlier in October during a visit by US Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, all of which use Huawei equipment.

The company has emerged as a central figure in the worsening China-US trade rivalry, but it continued to report strong business in the Middle East last month despite US efforts to curtail its growth in the region through trade restrictions and lobbying of governments.

However Albalooshi said US threats to cease intelligence-sharing with nations using Huawei equipment is a concern for the UAE telco.

“Of course, this is definitely a concern... but such a thing is the government’s decision. We follow our government’s roads and we are governed by the regulator,” he said.

Apple versus Huawei

US tech company Apple is struggling to fight off local competitors Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi in China as they offer customers upgraded options at cheaper prices.

Apple is expected to further struggle in mid-2020 due to its lack of fifth-generation (5G) cellular support in the new iPhone 11 family, as opposed to China’s smartphone players which are heavily focused on the technology.

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