American citizens should stop using products and services from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE say the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and the director of national intelligence. This warning was said during a Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday according to reports from CNBC.
During the meeting, Chris Wray, Director of FBI, commented that the US government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.” He also claimed that it would contribute to “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”
The US intelligence community has warned citizens about these Chinese companies before which led to a ban on Huawei bidding for government contracts four years ago, and it obviously made it harder for the company to step into the American consumer electronics market. US politicians have even described Huawei as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government” because the tech giant was founded by an ex-engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Huawei is well-known for the success of their smartphones, especially since they surpassed Apple and became the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world in September 2017. Huawei has tried to push into the American market but failed partially because of the US government’s warnings. They were really close to launch the Mate 10 Pro in America through the carrier AT&T, but the deal was closed at the last minutes likely because of political factors.
US lawmakers are thinking of introducing a ban that won’t allow employees at the government to use handsets from ZTE or Huawei. Richard Burr, Republican Senator and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said during yesterday’s hearing that: “The focus of my concern today is China, and specifically Chinese telecoms like Huawei and ZTE, that are widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government.”
Huawei is obviously frustrated about this and one of their spokespersons told CNBC that: ”Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei’s business in the U.S. market. Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities.”
What do you think about this? Should Huawei and ZTE phones get banned from the government? Let us know in the comments section!