Feeds

ZTE calls foul over senators' 'xenophobic' letter

Protectionism by any other name...

High performance access to file storage

ZTE, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, has cried foul over a letter sent to the FCC by four US senators which suggests that Chinese companies should not be trusted with US contracts.

The letter, which comes from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, names Huawei and ZTE as Chinese companies from whom cellular carriers have, or may yet, source infrastructure, and asks the FCC what steps it has taken to mitigate the perceived risks.

"The unsubstantiated allegations made in the letter are disappointedly[sic] anti-competitive, protectionist and somewhat xenophobic", ZTE told Bloomberg, saying that the letter "unfairly characterises ZTE", despite the company claiming to have no connection with the Chinese government or the military.

But the tone of the letter indicates the four signatories feel otherwise, referencing reports that accuse Huawei of having "significant ties to the Chinese military", and indicating that both companies have received loans from the Chinese government - the implication clearly being that anyone who accepts a loan will be in thrall of their creditor.

It reads:

We are very concerned that these companies are being financed by the Chinese government and are potentially subject to significant influence by the Chinese military which may create an opportunity for manipulation of switches, routers, or software embedded in American telecommunications network so that communications can be disrupted, intercepted, tampered with, or purposely misrouted.

To bear out this accusation, the letter accuses both companies of "aggressively seeking to supply sensitive equipment for US telecommunications infrastructure ... and increase their role in the US telecommunications sector through acquisition and merger". Not only that, but according to the letter Huawei has been offering "low prices with attractive financing"... those inscrutable Chinese, what could they be planning?

Daily Wireless breaks down the contracts for which both Huawei and ZTE are competing, mainly with Motorola to supply dual-mode LTE/WiMAX base stations to Sprint Nextel. Daily Wireless also points out that ZTE has promised to open a US manufacturing plant and spend $3bn with US companies over the next three years.

But the senators' letter asks the FCC for a list of all the US networks already using kit from ZTE and Huawei, complete with "a detailed analysis of the geographic regions covered by those networks" and an explanation of how the FCC intends to determine if such deployments represent a risk. It goes on to ask how the FCC intends to mitigate those risks, neatly switching to an assumption that such risks exist.

Should the FCC bend before such transparent politicking, US operators will be faced with a huge pile of paperwork. This will in turn ensure that buying Chinese will always be more expensive, and if Americans can be convinced that Europe represents a similar risk, then Motorola (the only US supplier of any scale) can't lose. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan
All routes should transit America, apparently
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.