Pentagon bans Chinese smartphone sales on military bases

Huawei faces ongoing troubles in the US.                  Andrew Hoyle  CNET

Huawei faces ongoing troubles in the US. Andrew Hoyle CNET

Huawei and ZTE devices cannot be sold on USA military bases worldwide for fear that they could be threats to national security (insert Samsung Galaxy Note 7 joke here).

Major Eastburn did say that the Pentagon is looking at the possibility of a military-wide ban on the purchase and use of Huawei and ZTE handsets by those serving the country. Both companies have previously, and repeatedly, dismissed the government's concerns.

Last month, the US Commerce Department banned ZTE from buying product parts from American firms for seven years.

While both companies have denied these allegations, the DoD still deems the companies as potential security threats.

Military exchanges - on- or near-base facilities that sell items to service members and their families - will no longer sell Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. items, such as cellphones and modems, under a directive issued by the Defense Department on April. 27, the department announced Wednesday.

More news: Tesla Sued by Nikola Motor for $2 Billion on Patent Infringement

Huawei is the world's third largest smartphone maker, and ZTE is the fourth largest seller in the United States. But he said that military personnel "should be mindful of the security risks posed by the use" of these devices.

The order was given to military bases around the world on April 25, the spokesman said. Best Buy recently chose to stop selling Huawei gear in the US. Earlier, the Congress party-led government raised issues about the supply of telecom equipments by Huawei and ZTE to leading telecom operators in India. The FBI is just one of the five intelligence agencies that testified before a Senate panel in February about the risks of using Huawei or ZTE products.

The Pentagon is concerned that the Chinese government will be able to track the location of USA soldiers using Huawei and ZTE phones.

With reference to the present risk, a Journal source claims that leaders are concerned that the companies may carve out backdoors to device encryption and allow phones to broadcast location coordinates of soldiers' phones to Beijing.

Latest News