ZTE and Huawei deny U.S. security threat accusation

China’s telecom companies ZTE and Huawei have denied allegations that their products could threaten U.S. state security, accusing them of obstructing Chinese ICT companies from entering the overseas market.

In a draft report, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee said that China’s telecom equipment and handset maker ZTE and Huawei, its rival, could pose security threats. Its final report is scheduled to be released later Monday.

The report is based on an 11-month investigation launched amid concerns that the Chinese government could use ZTE and Huawei’s telecom systems and equipment to conduct espionage activities on U.S. homeland.

The two firms denied and refuted the allegations at an earlier hearing of the committee, held last month in Washington.

“ZTE has set an unprecedented standard for cooperation by any Chinese company with a congressional investigation,” a statement from the Shenzhen-based ZTE said on Monday.

“Since April 2012, ZTE has presented the Committee with facts that demonstrate ZTE is China’s most independent, transparent, globally focused publicly traded company,” it added.

“ZTE’s equipment is safe. In ZTE’s Trusted Delivery Model, which ZTE offers all U.S. carriers, ZTE’s equipment is evaluated by an independent U.S. threat assessment laboratory with oversight by U.S. government agencies.”

The company urged the U.S. House Committee on Intelligence to expand its oversight over the whole telecom industry rather than just target Chinese companies.

“Most or all U.S. telecom equipment is made in China, including that provided by Western vendors,” it added.

Huawei, which is also based in Shenzhen, said in a statement late Monday that the Committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome and its report not only ignored Huawei’s proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that the company has provided.

“The report released by the Committee today employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations,” the statement said.

It said the report does not address the challenges faced by the ICT industry.

“Almost every ICT firm is conducting R&D, software coding and production activities globally. They share the same supply chain, and the challenges on network security is beyond a company or a country.”

“We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the U.S. market,” the statement said.

Also Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refuted U.S. claims that the two Chinese firms pose a national security threat to the United States.

“The investment of Chinese telecom companies in the United States has reflected the mutual benefit and win-win nature of Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations,” Hong said at a regular press conference.

Chinese telecom companies operate internationally in accordance with market economy principles, he said.

“We hope the U.S. Congress can respect the truth and overcome biases so as to boost bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and not the reverse,” he said.

Xinhua