Huawei denies being bound by Chinese spy laws

Huawei's cyber security chief told the U.K parliament on Monday that the Chinese telecoms giant has been advised it was under no obligation to spy for Beijing if so asked by the Communist state.

John Suffolk told a committee hearing that Huawei has sought guidance from its attorneys to see if a Chinese law on domestic companies' cooperation with the government on security matters could force it to conduct foreign intelligence work.

The legislation has been cited by U.S President Donald Trump's administration in its attempts to force governments across the world to drop Huawei from their 5G network development plans.

Suffolk's appearance before the U.K parliament's science and technology committee came as Britain prepares to publish delayed policy guidelines for the next-generation technology's rollout.

"There are no laws in China that obligate us to work with the Chinese government with anything whatsoever," Suffolk said.

"Our legal advice is that is not the case."

Britain and other states are concerned by a series of Chinese laws that include one adopted in June 2017 covering private companies and intelligence matters.

Committee member Julian Lewis cited the legislation as saying that Beijing had the power to "request the relevant organs, organisations and civilians to provide necessary support, assistance and cooperation" to various Chinese security agencies.