Yesterday, we told you that ZTE and Huawei were facing accusations of being a potential threat to US national security by the House Intelligence Committee. In a nutshell, the Committee said that both companies could potentially help the Chinese government spy on the US in a report that followed a year-long investigation. Naturally, ZTE and Huawei (along with China for that matter) didn’t take too kindly to the allegations leveled in the report, and today ZTE is hitting back with a full statement in an attempt to clear its name.
ZTE’s statement is incredibly long, with ZTE director of global public affairs David Dai Shu taking the Committee to task for conducting such a narrow review of Chinese companies and companies that operate in China. Here’s an excerpt where Dai Shu calls for an expansion in the scope of the investigation, which would cause it to include not only Chinese companies, but US companies that get their parts from China and have their devices assembled by partners in the country:
Dai Shu said, “It is noteworthy that, after a year-long investigation, the Committee rests its conclusions on a finding that ZTE may not be ‘free of state influence.’ This finding would apply to any company operating in China. The Committee has not challenged ZTE’s fitness to serve the US market based on any pattern of unethical or illegal behavior.”
According to the Committee, ZTE was included in this investigation simply because it is one of “the top two Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturers.” Virtually all of the telecom infrastructure equipment now sold in the US and throughout the world contains components made, in whole or in part, in China. That includes the equipment manufactured and sold by every Western vendor in the United States, much of which is made by Chinese joint venture partners and suppliers.
Dai Shu said, “Particularly given the severity of the Committee’s recommendations, ZTE recommends that the Committee’s investigation be extended to include every company making equipment in China, including the Western vendors. That is the only way to truly protect US equipment and US national security. National security experts agree that a Trusted Delivery Model will strengthen national security. In fact, major US carriers are increasingly requiring Trusted Delivery Model in their contracts.”
ZTE then goes on to list the facts it gave the Committee. The company said it is “China’s most transparent, independent, globally focused, publicly traded telecom company,” and reiterated once again that its decisions aren’t “directed or influenced” by the Chinese government. The company also focused on the fact that is has spent $14 billion on US-made chipsets and has “created over 20,000 direct and indirect US jobs.”
We also have ZTE’s Trusted Delivery System, which provides a security evaluation for the company’s software, firmware, and hardware, and is conducted by a “highly respected independent US threat assessment laboratory.” ZTE points out that audits from the Trusted Delivery System are made available to the US government. The company makes some very good points in its defense, but whether or not the House Intelligence Committee – of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice – will listen is another matter entirely. Stay tuned – we’ll have more details about this report and its consequences as the story unfolds.[via Talk Android]