The world can use a few more low-cost, high-powered smartphones. Chinese manufacturer ZTE has announced its new U950 Android mobile, which features a quad-core processor and a low price tag of $160. The first 100,000 consumers to step up will be able to place an order on November 11.
Earlier this month, Huawei was one of two Chinese manufacturers (the other being ZTE) accused of potentially spying for the Chinese government. The US House Intelligence Committee recommended that the company be avoided. Huawei retorted that the accusations are baseless, and now has offered to provide unrestricted access to its software code to prove its innocence.
Last week, Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE were accused of potentially spying for the Chinese government, with the US House Intelligence Committee recommending that both companies be avoided, and that acquisitions and mergers be blocked in the US. A couple days later, Canada reconsidered using Huawei as part of its upcoming government communications network due to the concerns expressed by US lawmakers. Now, according to a Reuter's source, a White House review found no evidence that Huawei is spying.
Earlier this week, both Huawei and ZTE were accused of espionage practices on behalf of the Chinese government, and the US House Intelligence Committee recommended that companies in the US should refrain from using either Huawei or ZTE hardware. Of course, both companies denied the claims, but Huawei is now getting a lot of grief from Canada.
ZTE has hit back at a US report blackballing it as a supplier, arguing that if the House Intelligence Committee really believes Chinese hack threats are so significant, all Chinese-made hardware should be rejected. Describing itself as "China’s most transparent, independent, globally focused, publicly traded telecom company," ZTE takes no small amount of issue with the security report's suggestions that US firms should look elsewhere for safe networking, telecoms, and other hardware. In fact, ZTE alleges, its inclusion in the investigation was based solely on its prominence as a known Chinese company, not because of "any pattern of unethical or illegal behavior."
The US committee calling for ZTE and Huawei to be blackballed as suppliers has released a five-strong list of recommendations to protect against Chinese cyberterrorism, including demanding more government insight into private sector tech deals. The House Intelligence Committee report concludes that American companies should "use another vendor" and highlights the potential for damage when "critical infrastructure" such as the electricity supply, banking, water, and other systems are "incredibly connected." As for the Chinese firms in question, despite their protestations that they have been open and honest, "Huawei and ZTE provided incomplete, contradictory, and evasive responses to the Committee’s core concerns" the committee chairman said in a statement today.
ZTE's bad day keeps getting worse; hot on the heels of a US intelligence report accusing the Chinese firm of presenting a significant security risk comes word that Cisco has ditched the manufacturer over Iranian sales allegations. Cisco Systems Inc. had been investigating ZTE since earlier this year, after claims that the Chinese company had contravened international embargoes and sold Cisco-branded networking equipment to Iran, Reuters reports. As a result, Cisco has ditched its sales partnership with ZTE.
Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are under fire from US lawmakers, with the House Intelligence Committee branding the two companies as potential espionage weakspots for the Chinese government. "China has the means, opportunity, and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes" the bipartisan-authored report warns, recommending that companies in the US should avoid using either Huawei or ZTE hardware, and that mergers and acquisitions by the firms should be blocked by US regulators. Unsurprisingly, the accusations have been met with outrage from the rising Chinese tech companies.