Huawei accuses US of cyber attacks as it prepares to launch new phone

Huawei has accused US authorities of targeting the company with cyber attacks and attempting to coerce employees into giving up insider information.

The Chinese tech giant said American officials were using “unscrupulous means” to disrupt its business, which faces a possible ban on access to US technology over accusations the company is a security risk.

It offered no evidence to support its claims and a spokesman said he could not offer further details, including whether or not the alleged cyber attacks had been successful.

Inside Huawei’s sprawling campus

Huawei, which the White House put on a trade blacklist in May, said: “We strongly condemn the malign, concerted effort by the US government to discredit Huawei and curb its leadership position in the industry.”

It also dismissed allegations it had stolen smartphone camera patents made in the US, following a Wall Street Journal report that the firm was under investigation by the justice department in Washington.

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The response will do little to improve relations between Huawei and the US, with the firm having become a major part of the ongoing trade war between the American and Chinese governments.

Huawei’s possible ban on access to US technology would include being unable to use the fully-featured Google-run Android operating system (OS) on its smartphones.

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That would mean Huawei smartphones would no longer support apps including YouTube and Google Maps, making them far less attractive products in markets such as the UK.

Huawei has since announced its own homemade operating system called HarmonyOS, although it has insisted it is not supposed to be a direct replacement for Android.

Did you get it right? The countdown to #HuaweiMate30 starts now!
We're going full circle in Munich on 19.09.2019.
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— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) September 1, 2019

Existing Huawei phones can keep the Google Play Store and its security protections thanks to a temporary licence granted by the US government, but it does not cover future handsets.

That will likely have an impact on interest, especially in the West.

While Huawei enjoys enormous sales figures in China, its impressive growth in parts of Europe – including the UK – has been key to it overtaking iPhone maker Apple in terms of market share.

The next flagship smartphone from Huawei, the 5G-capable Mate 30, will launch on 19 September – but as it stands will not support core Google apps and services.

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