"We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments (.) to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks", said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage". At the gathering in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the chiefs of CIA, FBI and NSA and the director of national intelligence expressed their concerns over the two Chinese tech giants.
Back in December, it was rumored that Huawei would be signing carrier deals with AT&T and Verizon to sell its Mate 10 Pro in the United States, but both firms pulled out due to what's suspected to be political pressure.
Wray's comments follow a 2015 report from the bureau that described the perceived threat posed by Huawei due to its "opaque relationship" with the Chinese government. And desperate times call for desperate measures.
"With over $100 billion in Chinese Government subsization and direct financing, Huawei is able to offer unsuspecting USA businesses low-priced offers hard to refuse in exchange for access to US networks". "We've won the trust of the Chinese carriers", Yu fumed at the company's keynote.
Taking matters a step further with regard to their fear of Chinese espionage through their smartphones, it's been reported that USA lawmakers are considering a new bill that would ban the us government from using any phones or products manufactured by Huawei or ZTE. That aggressive push, however, has put the company in even more hot water, as fake reviews for its flagship the Mate 10 Pro have reportedly surfaced on Best Buy's website, apparently linked to a Facebook contest spurred on by Huawei.
This is in line with a recent Bloomberg report, which said that Verizon has dropped plans to sell Huawei phones in the us due to pressure from the government.
Huawei, for its part, tells CNBC that it "poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor".
But the U.S. lawmakers aren't sold with Huawei's reassurance.
When asked by a lawmaker during the hearing, all of those in attendance to testify said they would advise Americans to not use products or services from Huawei. This could include altering information or stealing it altogether.
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