The Agencies believe that it may be risky to allow Huawei to gain power in the U.S.
Sometime last week, there was a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in the United States, and the heads of the FBI, NSA, CIA, and other security Agencies talked about an issue that has found its way into the U.S. intelligence community since 2012 – that Huawei (and to a lesser extent, ZTE) was not to be trusted to operate independently in the United States.
The head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, had this to say:
We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.
Already, in 2012, U.S. carriers were tacitly prohibited from purchasing network equipment from Huawei and ZTE. Now, in 2018, the warning has been extended to handsets. It may be for this reason that AT&T and Verizon pulled their support for Huawei’s new launch, the Mate 10 Pro.
In response, Huawei noted that its phones and networking equipment were sold in 170 countries worldwide, and that they posed no greater cybersecurity risk than any other ICT vendor.
Huawei has a close relationship with the Chinese government, and that is where the possibility of the risk came up. United States security Agencies apparently believe that the risk of espionage and cyber-attacks can be avoided simply by not using the Company’s products.
There is no evidence that Huawei has offered any backdoor to the Chinese government. However, it does not seem that the U.S. government and intelligence community will give in anytime soon.