U.S. government has been casting suspicion on Chinese telecom companies, ZTE and Huawei for quite some time. A congressional report was recently released which officially endorsed these suspicions. Now, the Chinese government has strongly opposed the report, stating that this would hurt the principles of free and open market.
In the past, numerous persons in the U.S. government have stated that they suspect the two companies of carrying out espionage missions through their networking equipment, and that they are in cahoots with the Chinese government. The recent report by the Congress has now formally deemed ZTE and Huawei as national security threats.
The Chinese government has responded strongly to these allegations. China’s Commerce Ministry stated that the allegations were based merely on guesswork and the U.S. government has absolutely no evidence to support its claims.
The Ministry further said that by trying to obstruct Chinese telecom firms from competing in the U.S. market, U.S. is impeding free market principles.
According to a ministry spokesperson, “We hope the United States can make concrete efforts to create a just and fair market environment for the two countries’ companies and promote a sound development of bilateral economic and trade ties.”
One of the reasons why U.S. government is so sensitive about the issue is that Huawei and ZTE develop equipment which is used in the telecom industry. This, many hard-liners in Washington believe, can provide China with a convenient way to spy on U.S. governmental personnel. Naturally, the accusations would hurt ZTE and Huawei and can close the market on them, effectively pushing them out of competition in the U.S.