Chinese telecoms vendors Huawei and ZTE have lashed out at a U.S. congressional intelligence committee which labelled them a threat to U.S. security.
The committee's report said that the Chinese vendors' network equipment could be used by Chinese intelligence services to spy on the U.S. The report said that Huawei and ZTE should be barred from acquiring U.S. companies or working on U.S. contracts.
In a statement released earlier this week, Huawei said that the over the past 11 months, it had cooperated with the US committee “in an open and transparent manner”.
“However, despite Huawei's best effort, the Committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome. The report released by the Committee employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations,” Huawei said in a statement.
“Huawei has been emphasising that the company is committed to cooperating transparently with any and all government agencies who wish to carry out an open and impartial dialogue about our company and the products and services that have made Huawei successful internationally,” the statement added.
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David Dai Shu, ZTE’s director of global public affairs, said that the committee's findings were not “based on any pattern of unethical or illegal behaviour.”
The statement 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 behaviour.”
But the lack of evidence provided by the committee has led some commentators to suggest that that the committee's findings were an excuse to protect the US from Chinese imports.
Paul Dwyer, writing for Bloomberg, said: “What the report lacks is evidence. It also smacks of protectionism, despite denials by the committee chairman, Michigan Republican Mike Rogers, that he is invoking national security to shield U.S. telecoms equipment companies from Chinese competition.”