The Pentagon has moved to stop sales of Huawei and ZTE devices at stores on military bases. This affects shops on or near U.S. military bases around the world.
The reason for the ban is due possible security threats that the phones pose, says the Pentagon. Sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal add that military officials are concerned that the Chinese government could track the locations of U.S. soldiers using Huawei and ZTE products.
“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, information and mission,“ said Pentagon spokesman Army Maj. Dave Eastburn. “In light of this information, it was not prudent for the department’s exchanges to continue selling them.”
Maj. Eastburn went on to say that while the Pentagon can’t tell soldiers which phones they can’t use for their personal needs, they “should be mindful of the security risks posed by the use” of Huawei and ZTE devices.
In response to this news, Huawei issued the following statement:
“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. Huawei is an employee-owned company and will continue to develop its global business through a significant commitment to innovation and R&D as well as to delivering technology that helps our customers succeed.”
So far in 2018, Huawei has reportedly had AT&T and Verizon back out of agreements to sell the Mate 10 Pro over national security concerns, had Best Buy stop selling its products, and is reportedly under investagation by the U.S. Justice Department. Meanwhile, ZTE has been banned from buying components from U.S. companies.
This latest news makes a bad 2018 even worse for Huawei and ZTE. While the Pentagon’s ban may not affect civilians in the U.S., it could cause those people to view Huawei and ZTE’s products in a negative light.