In remarks on the House floor today, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) expressed growing concern about a Chinese telecommunications firm linked to the Peoples Liberation Army and Chinese intelligence services that is aggressively trying to increase its market share in the United States.
Wolfâ€™s remarks came one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei Technologies has â€œalmost doubled its work force over the past five years as it strives to become a mobile technology heavyweight.â€
The article went on to say that â€œHuaweiâ€™s network business has thrived at the expense of struggling Western network companies such as Alcatel-Lucent Co. and Nokia Siemens Networks.â€
â€œInitially, Huawei supplied low-cost phones to telecommunications operators in the West under their own brand, but over the past year, Huawei has also been quietly building and investing in its own brand of high-end smartphones and tablets,â€ the Journal reported.
Wolf said it is important for the American public to know that Huawei smartphones and tablets â€“ and the network equipment it provides to U.S. carriers â€“ could be subject to espionage by the Chinese government.
â€œVerizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and other U.S. network carriers should not be selling Huawei devices given these security concerns,â€ Wolf said. â€œBut if they do, they have an obligation to inform their customers of these threats. This is especially important when carriers are selling Huawei phones and tablets to corporate customers. They have a right to know that Beijing may be listening.â€