June 27 (UPI) -- Chinese telcom giant Huawei refuted reports Thursday it's working on artificial intelligence and communication projects for Beijing's military.
Reports said Wednesday Huawei has collaborated on research projects with the People's Liberation Army and has close ties to the military. The reports were based on public records that include research written by Huawei employees.
Last year, the United States government banned Huawei devices over what it deemed national security concerns. The Beijing company has repeatedly denied it poses any type of threat to U.S. entities, private or public.
"As far as I know, we don't have any military cooperation projects," Huawei Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping told CNBC, emphasizing that his company serves the civil sector. "My understanding is we don't have any projects that relate to the military cooperation category. Neither do we customize products or solutions for the military."
Huawei said it's not aware of any employees publishing the research cited by news reports. Huawei has also been accused of misappropriating trade secrets for a Silicon Valley startup called CNEX. A jury in Texas found it guilty of violating intellectual property rights.
Some critics say Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in the People's Liberation Army, still maintains close ties with the branch.
Ren insisted earlier this year Huawei would reject requests from Chinese leaders if they asked for personal user data or other sensitive information.
"Even if we were ordered to, Huawei would still not install backdoors [to access information]," Ren said. "If a single backdoor was found in even one of the countries where we operate, our sales would shrink in all of them."