US committee: Huawei and ZTE "cannot be trusted"
By Reuters and Barry Collins
Posted on 8 Oct 2012 at 08:49
China's top telecoms equipment makers should be shut out of the US market because potential Chinese state influence on them poses a security threat, a US intelligence committee has recommended.
The US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee said the pair "cannot be trusted to be free from foreign state influence", based on its 11-month investigation of the two firms.
The US panel's draft report faulted both Huawei and ZTE for failing to satisfy its requests for documents, including detailed information about formal relationships or regulatory interaction with Chinese authorities.
Find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property; if you care about your consumers' privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America
US companies thinking about buying from Huawei should "find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property; if you care about your consumers' privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America," panel chairman Mike Rogers said in comments broadcast late on Sunday on the CBS News program 60 Minutes.
The panel said it received credible allegations from unnamed industry experts and current and former Huawei employees suggesting Huawei, in particular, may be guilty of bribery and corruption, discriminatory behaviour and copyright infringement.
The committee plans to refer such allegations to the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security, according to the draft made available to Reuters. "US network providers and system developers are strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects," it said.
The document cited what it called long-term security risks supposedly linked with the companies' equipment and services. But it did not provide detailed evidence, at least not in an unclassified version. A classified annex provides "significantly more information adding to the committee's concerns," the draft said.
"Cannot be trusted"
Based on classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE, which are both based in Shenzhen, China, "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 document said.
Huawei and ZTE are rapidly becoming "dominant global players" in the telecommunications market, which is intertwined with computerised controls for electric power grids; banking and finance systems; gas, oil and water systems; and rail and shipping, it noted.
Employee-owned and unlisted Huawei is the world's second-biggest maker of routers, switches and telecoms equipment by revenue after Sweden's Ericsson. ZTE ranks fifth. In the global mobile phone sector, ZTE is fourth and Huawei sixth.
Hypocrisy writ large
For years there have been rumours and complaints about the influence that US intelligence serves have on various aspects of US based IT suppliers.
Now the boot's on the other foot they're whining about state interference.
By qpw3141 on 8 Oct 2012
"suggesting Huawei, in particular, may be guilty of bribery and corruption, discriminatory behaviour and copyright infringement"
Thank gawd no U.S. firm would ever behave like that.
By Alfresco on 8 Oct 2012
You could also suggest that Nokia are Influenced by the EU.The Link has recently been confirmed.
The EU are going down the pan,closely followed by Nokia...
By Jaberwocky on 8 Oct 2012
That's a pity as I liked the concept. If there had have been something like this for the n900 I would have snapped it up.
By JamesD29 on 8 Oct 2012
No need for rumours. The CIA already have their paws in Facebook. And what about Google and it's network snooping.... I won't even mention the hundreds of unmanned bombings in Yemen.... If that's not technological warefare what is. Oops, just did..
By TigerUnleashed on 8 Oct 2012
Our entire country (and many others) would be at risk of being labelled “cannot be trusted to be free from foreign state influence” if the rest of the world was as paranoid and hypocritical as the USA.
“Yo, Blair! How bout y’all extraordinarily rendition Assange and McKinnon to us! Y’all don’t need no stinkin trial! Which those Muslims you sent us sure ain’t gonna get in Guantanamo Bay! Yeehaw!”
By TheHonestTruth on 8 Oct 2012
This is essentially wht this is - a pretext to ban the cheap chinese imports to protect the home market. - Apple, HP etc. As protectionism it is illegal. As "cannot be trusted" it is a grey area. Funny how the US demands trade to be opened up in the rest of the world, apart from its self.
By Manuel on 8 Oct 2012
except that the HP and Apple stuff is made in the same factories in China... Hmmm.
By big_D on 8 Oct 2012
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