US House Intelligence Committee receives fresh Huawei, ZTE complaints

Charles Ding of Huawei testifies
Charles Ding of Huawei testifies

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee is fielding "dozens and dozens" of new complaints about Huawei and ZTE following an 11-month investigation of the two Chinese telecom firms.

Current and former employees and customers have been calling in to report suspicious equipment behavior when dealing with the companies, according to an unnamed Intelligence Committee staff member interviewed by Reuters.

A second phase of the investigative panel is expected because of this new round of complaints.

The fear is that the Chinese government could use Huawei and ZTE's equipment to spy on or tamper with American interests.

Committee cites 'serious concerns'

"We have serious concerns about Huawei and ZTE, and their connection to the communist government of China," said Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich) in a press release this week.

"China is known to be the major perpetrator of cyber espionage, and Huawei and ZTE failed to alleviate serious concerns throughout this important investigation."

Instead, Chairman Rogers urged "American businesses should use other vendors."

Both Huawei and ZTE already make phones and tablets that run American mobile operating systems like the Ascend P1, Ascend W1, and Light Tab 2.

Huawei sends 81-page response

Huawei, determined to enter the U.S. marketplace, released an 81-page response entitled "The Case for Huawei in America."

"Unspecified allegations in the U.S. have led to severe anti-market measures to block Huawei's expansion efforts," the paper said. "While Huawei employs 140,000 people worldwide, less than 1.3% of its personnel are in the U.S."

In addition to being a U.S. "job creator," Huawei argues that its presence would bring in capital and tax revenue, boost competitiveness, support innovation and ensure network security.

The Coalition of the Un-Huaweilling

America isn't the only country to deny Huawei, despite its best arguments. The Australian government banned the company from supplying its infrastructure earlier this year.

Canada is looking to follow suit after seeing the results of this week's U.S. House Intelligence Committee report.

ZTE isn't off the hook for worldwide condemnation, either. The Chinese company has allegedly sold banned computer equipment to Iran, which sparked a probe by the U.S. Commerce Department, a congressional committee, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, says Reuters.

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee hasn't detailed specific allegations from new round of "dozens and dozens" of complaints, but more details are expected to come to light in a second phase of the panel.

Via Reuters 1, 2,, The Australian

Matt Swider