Despite a report in an Australian newspaper that claims the “five eyes” of security agencies from the U.S. to Australia have refused to buy Lenovo PCs due to security concerns, the world’s No. 1 PC maker says it knows of no such restrictions.
WRALTechWire reached out to Lenovo corporate spokesperson Ray Gorman for reaction to the report in the Australian Financial Review.
“We have not received word of any sort of a restriction of sales so we are not in a position to respond to this question,” Gorman said in a statement when asked about the story.
“Lenovo continues to have a strong relationship with government customers, so the claims being made are new to us.
“We are looking into this situation closely and we’ll be sure to share updates when available.”
The “five eyes” refers to security agencies in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Security concerns about Lenovo, given its Chinese parentage, are nothing new to the company. Shortly after buying IBM’s PC division for more than $1 billion in 2005, a security issue erupted involving the U.S. State Department’s purchase of Lenovo hardware.
The security issue erupted again after the Australian report that included a claim it had received a statement from Lenovo about the matter.
The story became fodder for sensational headlines around the world on Monday such as:
- “Western spooks banned Lenovo PCs after finding back doors”
- “Lenovo Computers Banned by the ‘Five Eyes’ Spy Agencies”
- And “Move over Huawei, there’s a new bogeyman in town …”
Huawei is another China-based firm that Cisco is fighting for global Internet server share and has faced its own tough questioning about security.
Before rushing to press, however, The Skinny asked Gorman for Lenovo’s side of the story.
Lenovo, which operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville and does business globally with employees scattered around the world, in June surpassed HP as the world’s No. 1 PC seller. The Australia report is obviously creating headaches for the company.
Gorman insists Lenovo takes security seriously.
“As a transparent, publically listed, Global Fortune 500 company, Lenovo is well known as a best practice PC vendor,” Gorman wrote. “We have a well-deserved reputation as being transparent and accountable to our shareholders and a wide range of other stakeholders globally.
“As a result of the purchase of the IBM PC division in 2005, we have diverse global leadership and an excellent track record in selling into the public sector globally. Our products have been found time and time again to be reliable and secure by our enterprise and public sector customers and we always welcome their engagement to ensure we are meeting their security needs.”
The Financial review report can be read online.