Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
Washington, D.C. -
Right now, two technology companies face a potential business ban after a possible security threat to the United States.
The ban has one Michigan Congressman spearheading the effort to keep them out.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is warning that American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms. The panel says the U.S. has been concerned about cyber-attacks traced to China and recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp. because of the risk of espionage.
CNN obtained a draft report of the nearly year-long probe by the House Intelligence Committee into the business practices of Huawei and ZTE telecommunications firms.
The findings are particularly critical of Huawei, which the committee alleges "provided evasive, nonresponsive, or incomplete answers to questions at the heart of the security issues posed."
Huawei disputed the report's findings on Monday, calling them "baseless." The company said that it cooperated with investigators "in open and transparent manner," making available its top executives and a wealth of its corporate information.
"Despite our best effort, the Committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome," Huawei said in a written statement. "We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the U.S. market."
Huawei and ZTE are two of the world's largest telecommunications companies, offering products that include routers and other Internet gear. The two companies have for years tried to expand operations in the West, only to be met with resistance over security concerns and fears over the firms' ties to China's government.
When Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers announced the probe last November, he said he feared the phones Americans use and other communications systems the United States depends on could be a Trojan horse giving the Chinese government access to the United States critical infrastructure so it can carry out economic and military espionage. He referred to China's "voracious appetite" for stealing commercial intellectual property.
Huawei took the brunt of the criticism in the report, a company Rogers previously referred to as "the 800-pound gorilla in the room."
In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday night, Rogers warned American companies to think twice about doing business with Huawei.
"I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumer's privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of American," Rogers said on the program.
Stay with WNEM.com and TV5 as we trace the impact of this report in Mid-Michigan.
CNN's Charles Riley in Hong Kong contributed to this report.
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