US Congress invites ZTE and Huawei for Congressional Hearing

September 3, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

As part of looking into the security threats to the telecommunications infrastructure of the country from Chinese espionage attempts through corporate entities, the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has invited top officials of the Chinese telecommunications firms ZTE and Huawei to testify before the committee.

The committee has been probing the connections of the Chinese firms with Chinese military since November last year.

The committee is also thinking about bringing in possible legislative measures to tackle any such security threats in the future.

As part of its investigation, the committee has issued letters to the companies earlier, asking the top officials to make detailed statements about their relation with the Chinese government and their international pricing strategies.

The letters also wanted the firms to inform whether they can be considered as actual private companies.

ZTE has confirmed that their participation in the congressional hearing through a public statement issued to the press. However, there is no public acknowledgement from the part of Huawei about their representation in the hearing.

The select committee has contacted officials from Australia and New Zealand as part of their investigation. Australia has blocked Huawei from attending the bidding processor of the National Broadband Network in the wake of security threats.

The companies reportedly gets exceptional subsidies from Chinese government for the telecommunication equipment kits which makes them compete better with other bidding rivals when clinching orders from agencies in other nations.

So, there have been wide apprehensions about the security threats raised by the subsidized equipment.

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