Trump administration has issued new allegations that Huawei and many other Chinese firms are either owned or backed/ governed by the Chinese military. The US Defense Department has determined this regarding 20 Chinese companies, which include video surveillance firm Hikvision, China mobiles, China telecoms, AVIC.
The new determinations are believed to lay the ground work for new set of US issued financial sanctions against China-based companies. The new claims come as US has successfully pressured countries like the UK to ban Chinese companies, particularly Huawei over national security reasons.
The list of these targeted companies has been released by the US government with the purpose of informing Congress, US investors and businesses, and also potential partners with Chinese companies, so that they understand the possible role these companies might play in relaying sensitive information to the Chinese military. The US Law allows US Department of Defense to track Chinese companies active in US, who are likely to be “owned or controlled” by China People’s Liberation Army. The Pentagon has however not yet publicized the list for which it is being pressured by the Democrats and Republics for few months now.
Google’s former head and now a member of Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, Eric Schmidt told BBC that Huawei has engaged in unacceptable activities that are posing threat to national security. However, he stressed on the need of competing with China in terms of technology rather than disengaging.
Huawei has been consistently firm in denying any ties with Chinese military or that it passes on the customer data. Victor Zang, Huawei’s UK Chief said, “The allegations made by Eric Schmidt, who now works for the US government, are simply not true, and as with similar assertions in the past, are not backed by evidence.”
“Huawei is independent from any government, including the Chinese government,” Victor Zang added.
The White House has already started action against Huawei and other Chinese firms in the list by barring the US companies from selling or sharing certain technologies to them without seeking prior permission. China and US are under a trade war due to allegations of security and trade secrets theft against China.