- Per order of The Pentagon, Huawei and ZTE technology cannot be sold on U.S. military bases.
- This is not a ban on the devices, but rather a ban on buying the devices on-base.
- The Pentagon says it is considering issuing a military-wide advisory statement on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment.
By order of The Pentagon, all retail establishments located on United States military bases must cease selling devices made by both Huawei and ZTE. The Department of Defense reasons that using devices made by those Chinese manufacturers could pose a security risk.
In a statement a Pentagon representative gave to The Wall Street Journal, the DoD says that “Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the 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 be clear, this order does not ban the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment from military bases, and military personnel can still obtain and keep devices purchased from other retail establishments. Though The Pentagon did clarify that it is considering sending out a military-wide advisory about the perceived dangers of Huawei and ZTE hardware.
Huawei, in response to the ban, issued a statement to The Verge:
“Huawei’s products are sold in 170 countries worldwide and meet the highest standards of security, privacy, and engineering in every country we operate globally, including the US. We remain committed to openness and transparency in everything we do and want to be clear that no government has ever asked us to compromise the security or integrity of any of our networks or devices.”
ZTE has yet to issue a statement of its own on the matter.
According to an anonymous source speaking with The Wall Street Journal, military leaders are worried that China could use Huawei and ZTE devices to locate soldiers in the field. Both Huawei and ZTE state that no such capability exists.
This new military declaration is one of many setbacks that both Huawei and ZTE have had recently. Huawei, in response to these and other issues with the United States government, has scaled back its intentions to break into America significantly. ZTE, however, faces more significant problems since American companies are now banned from selling products to the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. However, this is unrelated to the threat of Chinese spying and instead due to its flagrant violations of Iranian trade bans.