Don’t Use Huawei and ZTE Phones – FBI Warns

A group of US intelligence agencies have outlined their worries about American citizens using Chinese-built smartphones, it was revealed this week.
Six major US intelligence agencies have warned that citizens should be wary of using Huawei and ZTE phones, CNBC reports.

Don’t Use Huawei and ZTE Phones – FBI Warns

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday 13th February, the heads of intelligence agencies including the CIA, NSA and FBI all concluded that there are risks associated with Android phones made by Chinese companies.

During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said that the American 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 continued to note that access to users’ handset could allow malicious parties “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

As per The Verge, these warnings have existed for a while: agencies have been warning about Chinese-made hardware for a while.

The site states that Huawei was founded by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army.

It also noted that Huawei has previously been described by American politicians as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government”, which is why the company has been unable to bid for US government contracts since 2014.

That hasn’t stopped the company from becoming massively popular, though: last year, Huawei surpassed Apple as the second largest smartphone manufacturer, with only Samsung in the lead.

While Huawei may be popular in the UK, the company has struggled to capture the US market (thanks in part to political pressure like this).

Various carriers have refused to stock Huawei phones in the US, largely due to suspected political pressure.

US government is also trying to push through a motion that would prevent government employees from using Huawei and ZTE phones for professional purposes, thanks to fears of privacy breaches.

As recently as January, Huawei planned to launch its new Mate 10 Pro flagship in the US through AT&T, but the carrier pulled out of the deal at the last minute, with no substantial reason announced by the company.

Huawei is trying to sell the Mate 10 Pro unlocked in the US, but is struggling to gain traction with customers.

In response to the US fears, a spokesperson for Huawei told CNBC:

”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.”


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