ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Jan 2018
A private firm's decision not to market a Chinese product is alleged to have been affected by governmental pressure for reasons of national security.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Press reports allege that a decision announced on January 8, 2018 by the U.S. telecommunications firm AT&T to pull out of a deal to sell Huawei’s smartphones resulted from political interference. According to one such account, as published by The Guardian on January 13, 2018, “The decision was taken as a result of political pressure on AT&T by American politicians, who had written to the telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – which must approve the sale of phones and other devices in the US – saying they had ‘long been concerned about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular’.”
The letter referenced in that article was sent on December 20, 2017 by a bipartisan group of 18 members of Congress to the FCC expressing concerns arising from investigations by both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. They attached to that letter an HPSCI report released in 2013 that details Huawei's ties to the Chinese Communist Party, as well as to Chinese intelligence and security services, quoting the report’s finding that “Huawei exhibits a pattern of disregard for the intellectual property rights of other entities and companies in the United States" and "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus poses a security threat to the United States and to our systems." The signatories to the letter request that the FCC review the reported relationship, and that the “commissioners would benefit from Intelligence Community briefings on the threat Huawei and other Chinese technology companies pose.”