USA Continues Aggressive Stance Against ZTE and Huawei

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

In spite of their already rigid stance against the usage of phones made by Chinese phone manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, the phone companies, are now once faced with more discriminatory attacks from the USA, specifically by the USA’s Pentagon. This time around the Pentagon has decided that Huawei and ZTE are banned from being sold inside their US bases.

Banned Again

Pentagon joined the other security agencies of America in placing bans against the two Chinese companies. The ban was announced May 2 and takes effect in all US military bases around the world.

Pentagon’s reason was that they believe that the Chinese phones pose potential security threats to the US Military. They believe that, because they were made in China, the devices might be rigged, and the two Chinese companies might be aiding China in spying on their rivals through the phones. Of course, this concern is not without basis but as for a specific proof that these phones do pose any threats, America has not yet been able to show any.

Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn said: “Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to Department’s personnel, information and mission. In light of this information, it was not prudent for the Department’s exchanges to continue selling them to DoD personnel.”

This, however, does not mean that personnel are forbidden to own any of the phones manufactured by ZTE or Huawei. They are still allowed to buy them outside the bases. Eastburn added that they are considering issuing a wider restriction about the purchasing of any of the brand’s phones. He also added that he’s not allowed to go any further into detail about the technical nature of the risks.

Possibility of More Bans

The Huawei P20 (Image Source: Android Authority Youtube channel)

The Huawei P20 (Image Source: Android Authority Youtube channel)

The Pentagon’s statement that they are considering an even wider restriction is very telling. There is now a possible future where ZTE and Huawei might be fully cut off from the US market. ZTE is already banned from making transactions with US suppliers for seven years for trading with Iran while a sanction is in place, while Huawei is currently under investigation for the same violation.

As of now, ZTE and Huawei phones can still be purchased by US consumers, but it might be only a matter of time till the US might ban purchasing, ownership, and usage of the phones inside its territories. Huawei’s Richard Yu suspected that this is the work of US smartphone manufacturing rivals plotting to get Chinese companies kicked out of the US market. Both ZTE and Huawei have not commented on the recently placed ban by the Pentagon.

Should the two companies be completely cut off from the US market in the future, this may indeed cripple both ZTE and Huawei because they’ll be cut off from purchasing necessary materials, including parts from Qualcomm, a US company that provides smartphone chipsets.

Possible After Effects

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (Image Source: PC Mag)

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, one of the parts purchased by Huawei and ZTE. (Image Source: PC Mag)

Should ZTE and Huawei be cut off from the US market, this could also negatively affect the US suppliers as the two Chinese companies are also two of their biggest customers. It, however, will provide an opportunity for other non-US suppliers to replace companies like Qualcomm as ZTE and Huawei’s supplier of materials and parts. Whether the parts provided by those non-US suppliers are just as good as their US counterparts’ remains to be seen. It will be up to those suppliers to grab this opportunity and develop their tech to match those from the US. How long will it take them to do so is also unsure, but what’s sure is that there are dark days ahead for both ZTE and Huawei.