Pentagon orders stores to ban certain Chinese phones amid spying concerns

Pentagon orders stores to ban certain Chinese phones amid spying concerns

Pentagon orders stores to ban certain Chinese phones amid spying concerns

As per the new Defense Department directive, the service members of US will not be allowed to purchase ZTE and Huawei phones at military bases due to security risks which the devices may pose. This affects shops on or near US military bases around the world.

"Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department's personnel, information and mission", Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn said in a statement Wednesday.

Huawei, which is the world's third-largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, had great ambitions for the USA market this year, but AT&T and Verizon killed their plans to sell Huawei handsets early this year, reportedly in response to the government's stance on the company.

U.S. president Donald Trump is considering issuing an executive order that would block China's Huawei and ZTE from selling telecom equipment in the United States, a Reuters report indicated.

The ban is driven by the alleged spying threat posed by the Chinese-manufactured devices. "In light of this information, it was not prudent for the Department's stores to continue selling them".

India, which is considering China as a threat to its national security, is yet to respond to American concerns on Huawei and ZTE.

Only 2,400 Huawei and ZTE phones were sold on military bases past year, according to the Defense Department.

Both ZTE and Huawei reported lower sales from the U.S.

Huawei is the world's third largest smartphone maker, and ZTE is the fourth largest seller in the United States.

Representatives of Huawei and ZTE could not be reached immediately for comment on the possible executive action, though both have denied allegations their products are used to spy.

President Trump has threatened to place up to $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods as punishment for intellectual property theft.

Being manufacturers based in China, US government officials are anxious that Huawei and ZTE could be asked by the Chinese government to create backdoors into their handsets or even track US soldiers. Best Buy recently chose to stop selling Huawei gear in the US.

The Pentagon is also evaluating whether a military-wide advisory regarding the purchase or use of the devices is necessary.

Related news