Huawei would have to give data to China government if asked: experts

In an interview last month with CBS News, Huawei’s Ren said the company would never help China spy on the United States — even if required by law.

“We never participate in espionage, and we do not allow any of our employees to do any act like that. And we absolutely never install backdoors. Even if we were required by Chinese law, we would firmly reject that,” Ren told the American television network.

Sources within China contacted by CNBC declined to comment. But experts from outside the country suggested it would be near-impossible for Huawei to reject a request for data from Beijing.

“There is no way Huawei can resist any order from the [People’s Republic of China] Government or the Chinese Communist Party to do its bidding in any context, commercial or otherwise. Huawei would have to turn over all requested data and perform whatever other surveillance activities are required,” Jerome Cohen, a New York-based lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, told CNBC by email.

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