Fury in China over US branding Chinese telecom firms 'potential threat' to American security
A Congressional report branding two top Chinese telecommunications companies as potential threats to US national security has triggered a backlash in China.
In a 52-page report, the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has warned US companies and government agencies to stop doing business with either Huawei or ZTE, respectively the world's second and fifth largest manufacturers of routers and other Internet and telecoms gear.
The move led to Beijing authorities slamming the report, calling it simply a bid to keep competitive Chinese companies out of the US market.
"This report, which spurns the facts and is suffused with prejudice, is a vicious expansion of trade protectionism," the Christian Science Monitor quoted the People's Daily, the official organ of the ruling Communist Party, in an editorial, as saying
The report claimed that they "provide a wealth of opportunities for Chinese intelligence agencies to insert malicious hardware or software implants into critical telecommunications components and systems," and suggested that such implants could act as a "backdoor" into sensitive US information systems, sending data back to China.
Wang Hujun, an analyst at the CCID telecoms consulting agency in Beijing, said that though the report has no legal standing, but its recommendations "will obviously block Huawei's and ZTE's future in America."
"This is a grave blow to the companies," added Xiang Ligang, founder of the cctime.com website dedicated to telecoms issues.