Firstly, we are a technology minded website, not a political one. We’re more interested in what tech companies can provide the consumer and what exciting new mobile developments are round the corner rather than political arguments, but we thought we needed to comment on the news around the US and China tech firms Huawei and ZTE.
Huawei and ZTE are two of the great tech firms to come out of China. Their networking hardware is superb and can be found as the backbone for hundreds of mobile networks around the world. Their high-end telecoms equipment will never be seen by the average consumer but still it is what make our mobile networks function every day.
After a year long investigation the US House of Representatives branded Huawei and ZTE as threats to the US national security fearing that China could use equipment made by the two companies to spy on US communications and threaten vital systems.
Is this possible? Well yes, in theory, in practice it is highly unlikely and there are plenty of measures a government could put in place to continue to use the manufacturers without any security concerns. They are two of the most globally trusted and transparent Chinese manufacturers there are.
The US panel has gone so far as to urge network providers to source other vendors for their projects and even suggested regulators block any future business contracts involving Huawei or ZTE and US companies.
We feel for the two Chinese giants. Huawei are the world’s second-largest maker of routers and other telecoms gear, and ZTE are the fifth-largest. They cooperate fully with any security requests made by governments. In fact, we are pleased to say that the UK government and network operators have a different stance. EE stand by Huawei for their network hardware, in particular the upgrade in their network to support 4G technology.
A spokesman for EE has said, ”Huawei, a globally trusted and respected company, underwent a stringent security check and agreed to a specific set of security requirements before being selected to work with EE in May 2011 on the installation and upgrade of our ’4G ready’ 2G network infrastructure.”
While a UK government spokesman has been reported as stating that a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre was set up in 2010 which enables government experts to work with Huawei to give assurance that their products meets Government security standards and that other countries are considering doing the same.
This clearly shows that the Chinese manufacturers are happy to meet any security measures necessary for governments peace of mind and are happy to allow security experts to analyse their hardware and software code to check for any threats.
Of course, governments have to protect their nations but if the companies are open, transparent and willing we see no reason why there should be a block on trading with the Chinese manufacturers who are clearly some of the best in the world.
There may be more to it than initially meets the eye, more to do with political prejudices than technology security concerns, but as we said, we’re not a political site, we just empathise with the Chinese manufacturers and hope this will not cause too much of a blow to them and they continue to make great, reliable networking products to support our ever growing mobile networking needs.