Sun, Aug 05, 2018 - Page 16 News List

US Democratic candidates told to avoid ZTE, Huawei

Reuters, WASHINGTON

The US Democratic National Committee has warned party candidates running in November elections not to use devices made by Chinese telecommunications companies ZTE Corp (中興通訊) and Huawei Technologies Co (華為), because they pose a security risk, a source said on Friday.

US lawmakers and the administration of US President Donald Trump have pressured US firms to not sell Huawei or ZTE products, saying that they could potentially be used to spy on Americans.

Earlier this year they pushed AT&T Inc to drop a deal to sell Huawei smartphones in the US.

The source said committee chief security officer Bob Lord said in an e-mail that it was important for party and campaign workers to be vigilant about the warnings.

“Please make sure that you are not using or purchasing ZTE or Huawei devices anywhere within your staff — for personal or work-related use,” Lord said.

US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in March told US Congress that he shared the concerns of US lawmakers about espionage threats from Huawei.

“Hidden ‘back doors’ to our networks in routers, switches — and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment — can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data and more,” Pai said at the time.

The US Department of Defense has already stopped selling mobile phones and modems made by Huawei and ZTE in stores on its military bases, citing potential security risks.

Separately, Huawei on Friday said that it could replace Samsung Electronics Co as the world’s top smartphone maker by late next year, just days after data showed that it has surpassed Apple Inc for the No. 2 spot, despite being essentially barred from the key US market.

Huawei consumer products division head Richard Yu (余承東) made the remark at the release of business results for the first half of this year, during which unlisted Huawei said it shipped more than 95 million smartphones, an increase of about 30 percent.

“It’s no question that we become the No. 2 next year. In Q4 next year it’s possible we become No. 1,” Yu said in Shenzhen, China, where Huawei is based. “The past six months have been incredible.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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