US Global Military Base bans sale of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones
According to the “Wall Street Journal” Beijing time on May 2nd, the US Department of Defense will stop selling Huawei and ZTE’s mobile phones at US military base retail stores located around the world. The excuse is that these phones pose potential security threats.
This move has strengthened the Trump administration’s suppression of Huawei and ZTE. U.S. government officials said that China may order Chinese manufacturers to monitor or disrupt the communication system through the products they produce. Huawei and ZTE called this argument purely speculative.
Huawei is the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker after Apple and Samsung, but its mobile phone sales in the United States are very low. According to data from market research firm IDC, ZTE is the fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer in the United States, with a market share of 9.5% based on sales volume.
Defense Department spokesman Dave Eastburn said in a statement that "Huawei and ZTE's equipment may pose unacceptable risks to Defense Department personnel, information and tasks." Given this, it is unwise for the Department of Defense’s stores to continue to sell the phones of these two companies. ”
Eastbourne said that the Defense Department will not order military personnel to purchase Huawei and ZTE mobile phones elsewhere for private use. However, he said that military personnel should pay attention to the security risks posed by the use of mobile phones of these two companies. "He said that the Ministry of National Defense is evaluating whether to establish rules and regulations related to the purchase of necessary equipment within the entire military.
Eastbourne did not disclose the details of the US Department of Defense security concerns. According to informed sources, senior military officials are worried that China will use Huawei or ZTE to track the whereabouts of military personnel. This may allow spies to understand the operational status of military bases and the time the army assembled.
The Huawei spokesperson did not comment on the U.S. Department of Defense’s move. However, he said that Huawei is an employee-owned company. The company’s operations have no connection with the Chinese government. The government has never asked Huawei to monitor or hinder other countries. The spokesperson of ZTE did not comment on this.
It is not yet clear what the US Department of Defense's mobile phone sales ban will affect mobile phone sales. Huawei and ZTE mobile phones are very popular in overseas markets, including countries with large military bases in the United States, such as Germany.
In February of this year, the heads of several intelligence agencies in the United States jointly testified in the US Senate that Americans should not purchase Huawei or ZTE products because of security risks.
The US Department of Defense has set up obstacles for Huawei and ZTE's mobile phones, which coincides with the large-scale suppression of Chinese technology companies by the United States. A 2012 U.S. Congress report claimed that Huawei and ZTE pose a threat to U.S. national security. Their electronic products may enable China to monitor U.S. communications and disrupt telecommunications networks.
Both Huawei and ZTE have denied any association with the Chinese government and stated that their products are as safe as other similar products.
Since December of last year, several U.S. government agencies have taken measures against Huawei and ZTE. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposed a draft regulatory rule to make it easier for small mobile operators facing the rural market to purchase telecommunication network equipment from China. The U.S. Congress is also considering adopting legislation to restrict mobile operators from purchasing Chinese-made telecommunications equipment.
The MP demanded that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission stop AT&T's plan to sell Huawei mobile phones. AT&T gave up this transaction in January this year, and gave no reason. Best Buy also recently decided to stop selling Huawei phones in the United States.
According to informed sources, the U.S. Department of Justice is launching a criminal investigation into Huawei’s violation of Iran’s ban on sales.
The U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE from purchasing US components last month on the grounds that the latter did not abide by the settlement agreement reached. ZTE has said that this move is unfair and will appeal.