China-U.S. Cyber Standoff: Businesses Are in the Crossfire

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The U.S. and China are firing shots back and forth about cyber security and attacks, and though it’s infinitely better than both countries firing off real shots with the military, their actions are having very real effects on some tech companies. As the U.S. accuses China of cyber spying, China returns the accusations, and both sides push against the tech platforms that are the foundation allowing any of this spying to occur.

The U.S. lambastes China

According to The Guardian, the U.S. has been issuing warnings around the world about the dangers of using internet devices from China. The claim is that Chinese tech companies’ devices are shipped out with backdoor surveillance systems built in, allowing the Chinese government to spy on the activities running through those machines or gain deeper access into networks connected to the machines.

Congress member Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) led a 2012 House Intelligence Committee that reported against Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) — two up-and-coming players in the global mobile market. The report claimed that these companies may be violating United States laws and have “not followed United States legal obligations or international standards of business behavior”and that “the United States should view with suspicion the continued penetration of the U.S. telecommunications market by Chinese telecommunications companies.”

The report considered the use of these companies technologies a “security risk,” claiming that, “Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.” In that regard, it suggested that companies seek out other options for their telecommunications equipment and services, according to The Guardian.