ZTE on hack allegations: Ban every Chinese-made device for 100% security
blackballing it as a supplier, arguing that if the home Intelligence Committee really believes Chinese hack threats are so significant, all Chinese-made hardware can be rejected. Describing itself as “China’s most transparent, independent, globally focused, publicly traded telecom company,” ZTE takes no small amount of issue with the protection report’s suggestions that US firms should look elsewhere for safe networking, telecoms, and other hardware. In truth, ZTE alleges, its inclusion inside the investigation was based solely on its prominence as a known Chinese company, not by reason of “any pattern of unethical or illegal behavior.”
That blanket strategy to security caution is unfeasible, ZTE argues, given the predominance of China-based production of apparatus from such a lot of vendors. “Particularly given the severity of the Committee’s recommendations, ZTE recommends that the Committee’s investigation be extended to incorporate every company making equipment in China, including the Western vendors” the corporate counters. “That is the only real approach to truly protect US equipment and US national security.”
ZTE and Huawei were singled out by the united states committee over concerns that the Chinese government could use backdoor loopholes in telecoms hardware to access trade secrets among American companies in addition to to commit acts of cyberterrorism. In a sequence of recommendations, the bipartisan group suggested that US companies should look to other suppliers for safer equipment, and called for greater oversight into international hardware orders in conjunction with a block on acquisition and merger attempts by either Chinese firm.
“Given ZTE’s cooperation and the facts ZTE has presented to the Committee, ZTE is disappointed that the Committee chose to narrowly focus its review on just the 2 largest Chinese companies and to exclude Western telecom vendors and their Chinese three way partnership partners. Considering the fact that virtually all US telecom equipment is produced in China, in some measure, the Committee’s narrow focus addresses the whole issue of risk to US telecom infrastructure so narrowly that it omits from the Committee’s inquiry the suppliers of the majority of equipment utilized in the united states market. ZTE is a comparatively small US telecom infrastructure equipment supplier compared to a number of the Western vendors. Sales of ZTE’s telecom infrastructure equipment within the US comprised lower than $30 million in revenue last year. Two Western vendors, alone, last year provided the united states market with $14 billion worth of equipment” ZTE
Huawei has already voiced its protest, accusing the committee of being “committed to a predetermined outcome” despite its best efforts at openness. ZTE has taken a rather different approach, highlighting its existing work with the so-called “Trusted Delivery Model” that sees the company’s hardware, software, and firmware all reviewed “by a highly respected independent US threat assessment laboratory.”
You can find ZTE’s full statement here.