Chinese firms lose credibility over security issues


August 27, 2022


Chinese firms lose credibility over security issues

Representative image.

WASHINGTON: Chinese tech companies are facing a crisis of credibility in the US, UK and EU as there are suspicions over the potential of these firms to cause security threats with both their design and intent.

Recently, heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Britain’s MI5 issued warnings for the first time about the threat posed by Chinese government espionage operations, reported Asian Lite International.

FBI Director Christopher A Wray warned, “The Chinese government will steal your technology, whatever gets your industry moving, and use it to undermine your business and dominate your market”.

In their speeches while sharing platforms the heads of the FBI and MI5 accused the Chinese government of engaging in a “coordinated campaign” to gain access to critical technology, and to “cheat and steal on a large scale.” They underlined that the threat was “real and urgent” and that it could be “the most game-changing challenge we face.”

Last year, in March, the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) designated five Chinese companies as a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting the US communications network.

The designated companies included Chinese tech companies like Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp, Hytera communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikivision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

This was done in response to a widely held concern that equipment and services which these companies provide, “pose a threat to US national security or the security and safety of Americans” as articulated by the then-acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenwarsel, according to Asian Lite International.

After the defense Authorization Act came in 2018, The US government and government contractors banned Huawei and ZTE technology.

During US former president Donald Trump also Huawei was added to the trade blacklist, immediately enacting the restrictions, consequently making it extremely difficult for Huawei to do business with Washington companies.

Over this, few republican lawmakers have raised concerns around the use of Huawei cloud services in over 40 countries due to the access it allegedly gives the Communist Party of China (CPC) to systems and urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure that the use of these services did not expand any further.

Moreover, US President Joe Biden also signed legislation preventing companies like Huawei or ZTE, which were deemed security threats, from receiving new equipment licenses from US regulators, thus making their operations in the US extremely difficult.

The Chinese tech companies are equally suspect in the UK and EU. In February, this year, the EU filed a case against China at the World Trade Organization for restricting their companies from going to a foreign court to protect and use their patents, reported Asian Lite International.

“China severely restricts EU companies with rights to key technologies” (such as 3G, 4G and 5G) from protecting these rights when their patents are used illegally or without appropriate compensation by Chinese companies,” according to the EU’s press release.

It further added, “The Chinese policy is extremely damaging to innovation and growth” in Europe. There has been a dramatic escalation of Chinese espionage on US soil over the past decade. The focus areas of Chinese espionage had been right from the purchase of land near critical infrastructure to the sale of telecom gear and equipment.

Meanwhile, the UK government has also banned Huawei from the country’s 5G infrastructure plans despite ongoing commitments by the Chinese firm to participate in security and infrastructure audits to help increase confidence. France and Italy have not openly banned Huawei but imposed restrictions on using its equipment in core 5G infrastructure. (ANI)