Huawei has denied claims made by former CIA chief Michael Hayden that it has spied for the Chinese government.
Michael Hayden was quoted by the Australian Financial Review as saying that it was his “professional judgment” that the firm supplied intelligence to China.
However, Huawei said the claims were “unsubstantiated” and “defamatory”.
Huawei, one of the world’s biggest telecom equipment makers, has faced increased scrutiny in recent times.
Last year, US politicians claimed that the company posed a security threat because of its alleged links to China’s government and military.
On Thursday, the UK government said that it would review Huawei’s involvement in a cybersecurity centre.
The concerns over its association with the Chinese authorities have been driven in part, by the fact that the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army.
However, Huawei has repeatedly denied those claims and has stressed that it is 98.6%-owned by its employees.
In an article published by the Australian Financial Review, Michael Hayden claimed that Western intelligence agencies had information about Huawei’s “clandestine activities”.
Michael Hayden was quoted as saying that Huawei at a minimum had “shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with”.
However, Scott Sykes, head of international media affairs for Huawei, said that these remarks were “sad distractions from real-world concerns related to espionage – industrial and otherwise – that demand serious discussion globally”.cia chief, espionage, huawei, michael hayden, western intelligence agencies