The US Pentagon is ordering retail outlets on the US military bases to stop selling Huawei and ZTE phones. The Department of Defense says using the devices could be a security risk. Although US military people can still buy Huawei and ZTE devices for personal use from other stores, but seeing this ban they might ban it completely soon. The Pentagon is considering whether it should send out a military-wide advisory regarding the devices.
A Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal,
“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, information and mission, in light of this information, it was not prudent for the department’s exchanges to continue selling them.”
Huawei responded to the news in a statement,
“Huawei’s products are sold in 170 countries worldwide and meet the highest standards of security, privacy, and engineering in every country we operate globally including the US. We remain committed to openness and transparency in everything we do and want to be clear that no government has ever asked us to compromise the security or integrity of any of our networks or devices.”
The Chinese tech giant says it is an “employee-owned company” that would continue to expand globally even without the US market. The US government officials have said that China could order its manufacturers to create backdoors for spying in their devices, although both Huawei and ZTE have denied the possibility.
Since December 2017, the US government has been making more significant moves against Chinese tech companies. However, the officials have been especially suspicious of these two companies.
In a recent Senate testimony, six major US intelligence heads warned that American citizens shouldn’t use Huawei and ZTE products and services. US lawmakers have recently introduced a bill that would ban US government agencies from using the two companies’ devices.
The US Department of Commerce also banned US exports to ZTE last month after the company failed to meet a plea agreement when it pleaded guilty to illegally shipping US equipment to North Korea and Iran. ZTE is appealing the ban. Anonymous sources told the WSJ last week that the Justice Department is now probing Huawei for possibly violating sanctions against Iran.