LG Uplus CEO Lee Sang-chul reiterated over the weekend that its use of equipment made by China-based telecommunications firm Huawei would not end due to non-technical issues.
|LG Uplus CEO Lee Sang-chul|
LG Uplus has been embroiled in controversies over the adoption of Huawei’s equipment, as the U.S. government expressed concerns that the equipment could be used to spy on key U.S. military members and to keep an eye on its ally’s communications. Two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Robert Menendez, said Huawei’s supply deal with LG could undermine the close security ties between Washington and Seoul.
“Political, diplomatic and technical issues should not be mixed. U.S. senators are not technicians,” Lee told a news conference on the mobile carrier’s adoption of Huawei’s communications equipment.
He also said the U.S. market was not controlled by political reasoning. “Huawei also sells its products to small and medium telecom operators in the U.S. market.”
Like other foreign companies using Huawei’s equipment which went through Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement, Lee said, “LG Uplus will also run similar tests in Korea.”
On the rumor that Samsung may be one source provoking controversy, the CEO said, “Samsung should be glad of Huawei’s growing presence in Korea, because it means the Chinese government will better treat Korean companies, including Samsung.”
Local security experts like Lim Jong-in, the dean of the graduate school of information security at Korea University also called on LG Uplus to be more cautious about adopting foreign network equipment, particularly from China.
The United States and China also previously came into conflict over adopting Huawei’s equipment. The U.S. government did not allow the company to participate in building its wireless network project from 2011 on grounds that the Chinese government might access equipment to track emails and disrupt the U.S. communications system. Huawei has said the claim was groundless.
By Shin Ji-hye