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ZTE denies US intelligence claims over cyber espionage risks

Chinese networking equipment maker ZTE has denied that its products could be subverted by Chinese spies and hackers to conduct state espionage.

The company, which also makes smartphones, rejected the claims made by three US intelligence services giving evidence before Congress earlier this week

They claimed that networking equipment, including smartphones, made by Chinese companies could be used to eavesdrop on US networks. 

US politicians have also claimed that China is using academic and joint business projects to absorb valuable intellectual property. 

Senator Richard Burr, who heads up the Senate Intelligence Committee, is among the US officials who have warned about covert espionage that could be perpetrated by Chinese corporations. 

ZTE, however, has hit back at these claims. A spokesperson for the company claimed that it is “proud of the innovation and security of our products in the US market”.

The spokesperson added that the company has implemented a string of security measures to protect consumers and that it is constantly aware of, and works within, US laws.

Its statement continued: “As a publicly traded company, we are committed to adhering to all applicable laws and regulations of the United States, work with carriers to pass strict testing protocols, and adhere to the highest business standards”.

Last month, it emerged that US lawmakers had begun putting pressure on telecoms giant ATT to slash commercial ties with Chinese mobile phone and network equipment manufacturer Huawei.

At the time, Reuters said that US authorities had been growing increasingly concerned about the carrier’s close relationship with the Chinese company. They said it posed “national security concerns”.

Two unnamed congressional aides said that the increasing dominance of Chinese technology companies would undermine US security.

Michael Wessel, from the US China Economic and Security Review Commission, told Reuters: “The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications.  

“China’s participation in setting the standards and selling the equipment raises many national security issues that demand strict and prompt attention.”

The China claims come in a week in which Russian security software firm Kaspersky has claimed that its US government ban is unconstitutional

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