Huawei: The China government is not us

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is under fire over the theft of intellectual property by the Chinese government. However, Huawei Chief Security Officer Andy Purdy said the China government is “not us.”

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“The China government does not speak for us,” Purdy said Friday in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.  “We don't speak through the China government.”

In an effort to curtail IP theft, President Trump slapped hefty tariffs on Chinese goods. The U.S. and China are the world’s largest economies and have been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade war for months.

Purdy “applauded” the president's efforts to crack down on global IP theft.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who has been doing business in China for more than 25 years, long before the tariff fight exploded, recently told FOX Business that 90 percent of companies in China are using the Microsoft operating system, though only 1 percent are actually paying for it. He also accused them of ripping off the company to the tune of $10 billion.

“Without any pressure from the U.S. government – we are talking about $10 billion plus, for example, in Microsoft that would go into profit,” he told Bartiromo in November.

Although many companies in China are owned by the government, Purdy said Huawei is not one of them.

“We are a privately owned company. There are a number of companies out there that have government ownership,” he said. “The fact is that major nation states sophisticated and well-armed with cyber tools have the ability to hack into the global supply chain of everybody.”

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By law, companies in China are required to establish a party organization, according to Reuters. But when Bartiromo asked Purdy whether members of China’s communist government sat on its board he replied: “I don’t think so.”

“I think we probably have members of the Communist Party; we don’t have Chinese government officials on our board,” he added.