ZTE, Huawei Deny Involvement in Cyber Espionage

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In congressional hearings yesterday, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE denied any involvement in Chinese government activities, including spying.

"Thursday's hearing was held as part of an investigation launched by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee to find if Huawei and ZTE posed a security threat to the nation given the increasing cyber attacks allegedly coming from China," writes PCWorld's Michael Kan. "U.S. officials are concerned networking gear bought from Huawei and ZTE could in fact be used by the Chinese government to spy on U.S. activities and steal sensitive information."

"Zhu Jinyun, ZTE's senior vice president for North America and Europe, defended his firm's integrity," writes AFP's Rob Lever. "'ZTE is focused on its success as a multinational company,' he said. 'ZTE is not an SOE (state owned enterprise) or government controlled. Indeed, ZTE is China's most independent, transparent, globally focused, publicly traded telecom company.' Zhu said he found committee suggestions that it is being used for cyber attacks 'very disturbing.'"

"'It would be immensely foolish for Huawei to risk involvement in national security or economic espionage,' senior vice president Charles Ding of Huawei said at the session, which marked the first time for a Chinese company to participate in a US Congress hearing. ... 'There are no backdoors in any of Huawei's equipment,' Ding stressed, noting that the so-called backdoors might refer to software bugs that are unavoidable in the industry," Xinhua reports.

"The companies haven’t provided full answers and supplied 'very few' documents that relate to the committee’s probe, the committee chairman, Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said during the hearing," write Bloomberg's Todd Shields and Eric Engleman. "'We need answers to very specific questions. And when they don’t answer those, it just raises more suspicions,' Rogers, a Michigan Republican, told reporters after the hearing."