Chinese telecom products a threat, legislator says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 12, 2013 - Page 3

Government agencies’ procurement of Chinese-made telecommunications products could pose a serious threat to national security, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said yesterday.

Huang cited statistics compiled by her office that say 46 government agencies, including the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan, had purchased telecommunications products made by China’s Huawei Technologies.

The Investigation Bureau at the Ministry of Justice ranked first on the list with the procurement of 124 wireless network cards made by Huawei.

Huang said the company with a military intelligence background had collaborated with China’s national security agencies to steal information via “backdoor applications” in its products.

The list showed that agencies had also procured CHT8000 mobile phones and E169, E173 and E800 wireless Internet cards made by Huawei and distributed by Chunghwa Telecom, the nation’s largest telecom.

Investigation Bureau senior special agent Yen Cheng-an (顏成安) said the cards came with the installation of Chunghwa Telecom’s Mobile Data Virtual Private Network (MDVPN) service and the bureau had no control over the manufacturer of the equipment, but said that there would be no concerns about leaks of information because the service is a closed network.

Chunghwa Telecom had been aware of the potential risk of using Huawei’s products and has adopted a policy of not procuring the Chinese firm’s core networking equipment, Chunghwa Telecom marketing department spokesperson Chang Hung-yu (張鴻猷) said.

However, Chang said, Huawei and ZTE Inc are the only manufacturers of the network cards.

Huang also raised concerns about Taiwanese telecoms’ adoption of the Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G mobile technology, a standard jointly developed by several companies, including Huawei.

National Communications Commission official Su Si-hon (蘇思漢) played down those concerns, saying that the standard would not be dominated by Chinese companies.