The Real Reason Symantec Sold its Interest in Huawei Symantec

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jeffrey Carr

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Finally the truth about why Symantec CEO Enrique Salem decided to sell Symantec's share of the Huawei Symantec joint venture is out, thanks to the New York Times:

"Less than four years after Huawei Technologies and Symantec teamed up to develop computer network security products, the joint venture is being dismantled because Symantec feared the alliance with the Chinese company would prevent it from obtaining United States government classified information about cyberthreats."

However I'd like to point out that I called this on November 15th, 2011 in this blog post where I wrote:

"My question is, what happened between May and October to make CEO Salem change his mind?"

"Could it have been this Washington Times article last August about how four Senators and a Congressman were asking the Departments of Defense and Energy to look into the sale of H-S parts to a government research lab at the University of Tennessee?"

"Or perhaps it was the release of an Open Source Center report on Huawei's Chairwoman Sun YaFang's past with the equivalent of China's CIA, the Ministry of State Security?"

"Or perhaps it was that the ludicrous nature of the relationship between a Chinese company with State affiliations and a security company who's supposed to protect their customers from espionage activities from that same State finally sunk in to Salem's brain?" 

"No, it probably wasn't that."

And while the joint venture may be over, remember that a lot of Huawei equipment has already been sold to the U.S. government including DOD and NASA by Huawei Symantec through channel partners like MPAK and Dell Force 10 Networks.

To make matters worse, no one is testing for backdoors in firmware updates to any of the hardware manufactured in China; not just Huawei but Dell's servers as well.

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