US bars sale of Huawei, ZTE devices on military bases globally
03 May 2018
The Pentagon has moved to halt the sale of phones made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp in retail outlets on US military bases around the world, citing potential security threats these devices could pose.
The US Department of Defence confirmed the ban to the media on Wednesday.
"Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to Department's personnel, information and mission," said Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn. "In light of this information, it was not prudent for the Department's exchanges to continue selling them to DoD personnel."
The move intensifies a squeeze the Trump administration began to put last month on the two makers of telecommunications gear and mobile devices. Washington officials have said Beijing could order Chinese manufacturers to hack into products they make to spy or disable communications. Huawei and ZTE have strongly denied the allegations (See
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US military personnel are still allowed to buy ZTE and Huawei phones for personal use from elsewhere, although the Pentagon is currently deciding whether to issue a wider advisory about the purchase of phones by the two brands, said Eastburn. He said security reasons prevented him from going into the technical aspects of the potential threats.
In February, heads of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency used congressional testimony to warn consumers against purchasing Huawei phones. Both Huawei and ZTE have repeatedly insisted that their consumer devices don't pose a security threat to the US.
Last month the US Commerce Department imposed a "denial of export privileges" on ZTE, which translates to a ban on US companies selling products and services to the China-based company. Huawei is also currently under investigation by the US Department of Justice about whether Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran.
Neither Huawei nor ZTE immediately responded to requests for comment.