Huawei plans to open its first major smartphone store in Vienna, the first of its kind outside of China, as part of efforts to triumph the European market, where its future is facing a difficult test.
The world’s largest telecom equipment maker has been under scrutiny in the West for its relationship with the Chinese government and US-led allegations of government spying, and Washington has asked its allies not to use Huawei’s technology. Huawei repeatedly denied the allegations and reiterated this at a press conference in Vienna on Thursday.
“We have not received a request from any government or anybody anywhere in the world … to do what might jeopardize the security of customer networks,” said Hu Jintao, vice president of corporate communication at the press conference. “If we are asked to do so, we will refuse.”
Huawei has deals with Austria’s three large communications groups. Pan Yao, chief executive of Huawei’s activities in Austria, said the company is ready to help these groups build the infrastructure for fifth-generation mobile networks.
The charges against Huawei have prompted many Western countries to restrict the company’s access to their markets, while the EU is considering proposals that could reach a practical ban. The Austrian Ministry of Technology confirmed on Thursday that it is seeking a unified European position to decide on allowing Huawei to equip the fifth generation networks. The company is scheduled to open its flagship store in Vienna in the summer.