Sugar's views on Huawei
LONDON, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The accusation against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is purely "political" and "scaremongering", and has nothing to do with security, Alan Michael Sugar, a renowned British entrepreneur, has said.
"If there's any one word to describe it, it's political. In my opinion, it has absolutely nothing at all to do with security. I think it is scaremongering," Lord Sugar, also a member of the House of Lords, the British Parliament's second chamber, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The U.S. government last month announced restrictions on the sale and transfer of U.S. technologies to Huawei and is pressuring its allies, including Britain, to remove Huawei equipment from their 5G plans, citing security concerns over intelligence sharing.
"The idea is that a Chinese company can tap into military secrets. So it is absolutely nonsense," said Sugar.
"There are a lot of competitors in America, who want to fit their equipment into the exchanges. So you can understand what's going on, they're very protectionist over there," he added.
In 1968, Sugar founded consumer electronics company Amstrad, which he sold in July 2007. He also has business interests in digital media and property investment. Having previously sat on the Business Council for Britain, he was named as the government's "Enterprise Champion" in 2009.
As former chairman of YouView, a hybrid television platform in Britain, Sugar had multiple dealings with Huawei. He described the Chinese company as "capable" and "fantastic".
"I know that Huawei are capable, because I've had a lot of dealings with them in the past five or six years ago, when we produced the set-top box equipment for YouView. And we had problems making these boxes. And Huawei came in. And they did a fantastic job. And all the others failed by the way."
As for Britain's 5G network, Sugar said: "I certainly don't think it would be to the operators interest in this country to bow to the pressure, if there is any pressure from the British government. And I don't think the British government should bow to the pressure of the Americans. This is our networks in our country. And it's for our consumers to enjoy 5G."
Mobile network operator EE has switched on Britain's first 5G service in six major cities at the end of last month. A spokesperson from BT, the parent group of EE, told Xinhua: "As we've previously stated, Huawei will continue to supply our 5G radio network infrastructure -- they remain a valued and innovative supplier."
Vodafone, another operator, has announced that its 5G service goes live in early July. The operator also uses Huawei equipment in parts of its 5G network.
"There is no security issue. Huawai is a good company.... and it will provide us a very, very good 5G service, which is what we need. We need to progress with mobile technology," Sugar said.