US report highlights unease about Chinese firms

By Joe Mcdonald

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9 2012 6:10 a.m. MDT

Other governments also have questioned Huawei's suitability. Australia's government disclosed in March that Huawei was banned from bidding to help build a nationwide high-speed Internet network due to concern about cyber-attacks traced to China.

Huawei has been hurt by its reluctance to release details of who controls the company. Such secretiveness is common among major Chinese companies but unusual in Western markets. In contrast to American CEOs who are expected to act as their companies' public face, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei never talks to reporters and rarely appears in public.

Huawei has tried to ease U.S. concerns by hiring American executives and spokespeople. It has taken reporters on tours of its sprawling, leafy campus in Shenzhen. In the congressional investigation, it handed over information about members of its board of directors and names of employee shareholders.

In Britain, Huawei has set up a testing center where government technicians can examine its equipment.

"They are going to have to move more quickly," said Wolf. "They need to put their most senior executives in front of the American public."

In other industries, Chinese executives are reluctant to pursue deals in the United States if they think they might be subjected to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable scrutiny of a government security review, Maynard said. He said those might apply even to such acquisitions as an auto parts producer that makes a small portion of its sales to the U.S. military.

Last month, President Barack Obama blocked Chinese-owned Ralls Corp. from owning four wind farm projects in Oregon near a Navy base where the U.S. military flies unmanned drones. Obama acted after the same government review panel that rejected Huawei's acquisition of 3Leaf said there was no way to address possible security risks.

"This has the potential to cut both ways," said Maynard. "If you want American companies to be welcome in China, you need to be making them welcome in the U.S."

Huawei Technologies Ltd.: www.huawei.com' target(equals)'_blank'http://www.huawei.com"www.huawei.com

ZTE Corp.: www.zte.com.cn' target(equals)'_blank'http://www.zte.com.cn"www.zte.com.cn

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