The head of China's Huawei defended his company on Monday following concerns its equipment could be used for spying, saying the telecoms giant had a "very strong track record regarding security."
Huawei has reportedly lost a deal with AT&T in the United States that would have given it an improved foothold on the handset market following a report by US lawmakers expressing unease "regarding Huawei and Chinese espionage."
The founder of the group is a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army and this has led to concerns of close links with the Chinese military and government, which Huawei has consistently denied.
US authorities have even asked the Australian government not to use Huawei equipment to deploy super-fast 5G wireless networks in the country, according to Australian media.
"We have seen concerns, however, no solid facts," Hu told reporters at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone show, according to an English translation of his comments in Chinese.
"Discussions and debate must be based on fact, not suspicion..." he said. "Huawei's HQ is based in China and if that's enough to be seen as a group that can't be trusted, it can be quite problematic," he added.
"We provide products for 400 operators, we have a very strong track record regarding security. Security is one of our top priorities."
Asked about the first deployments of 5G, the next generation of mobile phone technology that promise to be quick enough to download a full-length film in less than a second, Hu said commercialisation was expected to begin before the end of the year.
He said Huawei has signed 45 contracts for 5G pre-commercialisation around the world, with large-scale trials in London, Vancouver, Tokyo and Seoul.