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Huawei USA security chief plays down repeated claims of IP theft

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Huawei USA security chief plays down repeated claims of IP theft

Huawei US security director Andy Purdy downplayed the company's history of alleged intellectual property theft on Friday.

"There are cases of irregularities committed by us and other companies, and any example of this is wrong," Purdy told CNBC Squawk Box. "I'm saying that when you confuse it to be something gigantic, that's not true."

The Chinese telecommunications giant has been repeatedly accused of intellectual property theft by its rivals and the US government, although Huawei has maintained that it respects intellectual property rights. Purdy, responding to allegations of IP theft in May, told CNBC that "he does not forgive acts that have happened in the past."

When asked about this Friday by CNBC Becky Quick, Purdy, a former senior cyber security officer in the US Department of Homeland Security, dismissed allegations that Huawei is a repeat perpetrator of IP theft.

"I understand that is your position. I understand it is the position of the US government," he said. "These are not the facts when you look at objective information."

Purdy also said on Friday that a report stating that the Chinese technology giant had received billions in financial support from the government was "drastically exaggerated".

Purdy's interview comes two days later Wall Street Newspaper He said Huawei had access to up to $ 75 billion in Chinese support over the past 25 years as it grew into the largest telecommunications equipment company in the world.

The newspaper reported that much of the assistance, about $ 46 billion, came from loans, lines of credit and other state support. In addition, it saved up to $ 25 billion in taxes between 2008 and 2018 with state incentives and received $ 1.6 billion in subsidies and $ 2 billion in land discounts, the Journal reported.

"The fact is that there are credit lines issued between 2005 and 2011," said Purdy. He added that a "small fraction" already used was customer loans.

"Taking the gross value of credit lines isn't really fair to talk about it as government assistance," he said.

Purdy added that lines of credit should not be considered government assistance to the company as they were made available by banks to customers.

"We did not receive credit lines from the government. Credit lines were made available by banks to customers. So the question was: will customers take advantage of credit lines to buy our equipment?" Said Purdy. "What we are saying is that a small fraction of the 40 billion they are talking about was used to buy our equipment."

"The point is that it's a small amount, when you look at the investment in our company during that time, it was less than $ 3 billion to buy our products," he added. "When you look at $ 175 billion in purchases, $ 3 billion in credit-supported purchases is a minor issue."

The Wall Street Journal did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Purdy's remarks.

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