SAN FRANCISCO—A Congressional committee Monday (Oct. 8) warned American operators not to buy equipment from China's leading telecom equipment makers, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., citing potential risk to U.S. national security interests.
In a report, the House Intelligence Committee strongly encouraged U.S. telecom operators to seek other vendors for their projects.
"Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems," the report stated.
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Other governments and organizations have previously expressed concerns about the potential security threat posed by Huawei and ZTE, the world's first and fifth largest suppliers of wireless communications infrastructure equipment, respectively. Both companies are suspected of having ties to the Chinese government, military and China's ruling communist party. The firms have been accused of designing communications equipment to allow unauthorized access by the Chinese government, a charge that has stoked fears over national security and the potential for corporate espionage.
The report recommended that the U.S. "view with suspicion the continued penetration of the U.S. telecommunications market by Chinese telecommunications companies." It further recommended that the U.S. block acquisitions, takeovers, or mergers involving Huawei and ZTE.
Both companies issued statements Monday criticizing the report's findings.
The committee's report was particularly critical of Huawei, saying that the investigation turned up evidence of bribery, copyright infringement, immigration violations and discriminatory practices by the firm. The committee said it would refer these allegations to the Justice Department for review and possible investigation.
The evidence has been collected for a while. Yes the report was politically motivated, but the threat is real. China is NOT our friend. I try to avoid using anything made in China, but it is next to impossible. Just be aware that many of their advanced devices are not necessarily benign.
Just my opinion.
For the record, here are a couple of excerpts from the Huawei statement about the report:
"The report conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which took 11 months to complete, failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the Committee's concerns."
"Despite our best effort, the Committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome."
Whole statement can be found here:
That's an interesting perspective. To some degree, I'd say it does seem as though these firms were accused of something and asked to prove their innocence. Being that these are politicians, there are likely some politics involved. I felt that the report was pretty strongly worded, which surprised me.
"According to the report, both Huawei and ZTE failed to provide sufficient evidence to alleviate the committee's concerns. ",
Interesting. Guilty until prove innocent. The principle used here is opposite to the court cases.
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