Chinese manufacturer ZTE a risk to national security: UK

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, April 17: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of Britain has identified Chinese manufacturer ZTE as a ‘potential risk to the national security’ and warned telecommunications companies against dealing with the Chinese manufacturer.

“NCSC assess that the national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated,” a report by The Guardian quoted Britain’s cyber-security watchdog NCSC as saying.

The UK telecoms network already contains a ‘significant amount’ of equipment supplied by Huawei, a Chinese manufacturer and adding in equipment and services from another Chinese supplier would ‘render our existing mitigations ineffective’, NCSC said in a letter addressed to telecommunications companies in the UK.

The Chinese manufacturer ZTE also came under the scanner of the United States and pleaded guilty in March 2017 for illegal sale of sensitive U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea.

Part of the settlement required ZTE to take action against employees involved in the violations but instead of taking action against employees involved in the violations, ZTE rewarded them and resorted to cover-up, the U.S. authorities said.

“Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them. This egregious behaviour cannot be ignored,” Wilbur Ross, the US Secretary of Commerce was quoted as saying in the report.

According to a report on Bloomberg Technology,  the U.S. has today imposed a seven-year ban on ZTE on purchases of crucial American technology needed to keep it competitive.

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