Huawei Australia CEO replaced amid 'trying circumstances' and international outrage over security concerns

Wang Zhao / AFP / Getty ImagesA pedestrian talks on his phone while he walking past a Huawei store in Beijing.

There’s a changing of the guard at Huawei Australia with a new CEO, Haosheng ‘Hudson’ Liu announced to head the Australian arm of the business.

In a statement, Huawei noted Liu comes to Australia from the Indonesian arm of Huawei where he had previously been chief executive. Liu has been with Huawei for 21 years, previously working as managing director of Huawei Germany and later CEO of Huawei Belgium.

Liu’s appointment comes only a year after George Huang was appointed CEO of Huawei Australia. During his time as CEO, he saw revenue at the business grow 18 per cent in a year on year basis. It is not clear the reasons behind Huang’s departure from the company.

John Lord, Huawei Australia Chairman, welcomed Liu, but also noted the “challenging year” Huawei Australia had experienced after being blocked from the 5G rollout.

“Huawei technology is cutting edge, safe and secure and that’s why we have become the largest supplier of mobile network infrastructure in Australia,” Lord said.

“These results make it very clear Huawei is the leading supplier of innovative telecommunications solutions and it’s a great shame Australian’s will miss out on our 5G technology.”

In the statement, also thanked the outgoing CEO George Huang who “did a tremendous job in trying circumstances”.

Liu, who has already updated his Twitter bio, has been quick to enter the fray, tweeting in response to the news of Australia’s laggard performance in global internet speeds.

Huawei leaves backdoors in hardware

This all comes as Bloomberg published that Huawei had left security backdoors in hardware it sold around the world.

Bloomberg reports that as far back as 2009 Vodafone was aware of backdoors in routers sold in Italy.

Of importance is the reporting that Huawei was asked to remove the backdoors, said they would, but on further testing, it was shown they didn’t.

Vodafone reportedly told Bloomberg it was “not uncommon for vulnerabilities in equipment from suppliers to be identified by operators and other third parties”.

Bloomberg reports that Huawei refused to fully remove the backdoor “citing a manufacturing requirement”.

However, Huawei reportedly continued to win contracts to supply hardware to other divisions of Vodafone, despite the concerns about security.

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