In a report due out Monday, U.S. lawmakers say the federal government should block a impending merger between two of China's largest telecom companies. Why? Obviously, they must be spies.
The companies in question, Huawei and ZTE, want to expand in the United States, but the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence wants nothing to do with the plan. Following a yearlong investigation, the committee's report says that the two companies, two of the largest companies in the world's largest country, would not cooperate and should therefore be viewed as a threat. "Huawei and ZTE have failed to assuage the committee's significant security concerns presented by their continued expansion into the United States," the report reads. "In fact, given their obstructionist behavior, the committee believes addressing these concerns have become an imperative for the country." To be more specific, the report says that China "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems."
Obviously, Huawei and ZTE aren't happy about America's suspicious gaze. Testifying before the committee on September 13, Huawei senior vice president Charles Ding said, "Huawei has not and will not jeopardize our global commercial success nor the integrity of our customers' networks for any third party, government or otherwise." Nevertheless, lawmakers are uncomfortable with Chinese-made telecommunications equipment being installed in American homes. According to the committee's report, they provide "a wealth of opportunities for Chinese intelligence agencies to insert malicious hardware or software implants into critical telecommunications components and systems."