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The stern comments from China’s tech giant came after the US commerce department added Huawei to a trade blacklist that has restricted its access to certain components. Huawei has called the US decision an unfair “stranglehold” on the companies development. But, the US has said the decision was necessary due to evidence the tech company was an arm of China’s global cyber-espionage networks.
The US state department’s top cyber official, Robert Strayer said: “A country that uses data in the way China has, to surveil its citizens, to set up credit scores and to imprison more than 1 million people for their ethnic and religious background, should give us pause about the way that country might use data in the future”.
According to The Washington Post, Mr Strayer added: “It would be naive to think that country, given the influence, it has over its companies, would act in ways that would treat our citizens better than it treats its own citizens.”
The decision has antagonised Beijing with China’s own commerce department warning it will take “all necessary measures” in response to the restrictions.
The move further escalates the trade war between the two countries and could adversely affect US-based companies, like Apple.
Huawei released a statement that read: “In its relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company, the US government has decided to proceed and completely ignore the concerns of many companies and industry associations.
“This decision was arbitrary and pernicious and threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide.
“This new rule will impact the expansion, maintenance, and continuous operations of networks worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
“To attack a company from another country, the US government has intentionally turned its back on the interests of Huawei’s customers and consumers.
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“This goes against the US government’s claim that it is motivated by network security.”
At present much of the world’s semiconductor chip design for smartphone processors is manufactured in the US.
But, the US sanctions on Huawei prohibit the company’s ability to access international semiconductor manufacturers also.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, TSMC, a key chipmaker, has now halted Huawei’s orders in response to the update.
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Timothy Heath, a senior international defence research analyst at the RAND Corporation, argues that the firm’s phones could be used to spy on user data.
Speaking to Forbes he said: “The threat is legitimate, given the murky links between Huawei and Chinese authorities.
“The Chinese state has the authority to demand tech companies like Huawei turn over useful information or provide access to the communications and technologies owned and sold by Huawei.
“Chinese authorities can use this information and access to facilitate espionage or cyber-attacks over Huawei communications technologies.
“Consumer tech devices like phones that rely on Huawei technologies will be easier for Chinese authorities to penetrate and exploit for these reasons.
Huawei was founded in Shenzhen, Guangdong, in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army officer, the firm is owned by 80,000 of its 180,000 employees.
Like its rivals Nokia and Ericsson, Huawei has manufactured mobile network equipment for years.
During the last decade or so it has stormed into the consumer market as a smartphone manufacturer and now owns 16 percent of the market.
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