Lawmakers push AT&T to stop working with Huawei

by Fredrick Graves January 17, 2018, 1:52
Lawmakers push AT&T to stop working with Huawei

The proposed bill also prohibits USA government agencies from entering into a contract with a company or entity that uses them "as a substantial or essential component" of their functions.

However, according to the aides, Senators and Representatives want AT&T to halt this collaborative effort with Huawei. They are also seeking an end to the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T's discount branch Cricket, Reuters said quoting Congressional aides. Worries over potential Chinese government spying via China-based companies are nothing new, but officials have been, both officially and unofficially, increasingly vocal about these potential issues.

"We hope that China and the U.S. can work hard together to maintain the healthy and stable development of trade and business ties". "This accords with the joint interests of both".

China Mobile, the largest mobile phone operator in the world, did not answer requests to make a comment.

It is now being reported that the United States government wants AT&T to cut all commercial ties with AT&T, including any work the two have made on the development of 5G standards.

The unnamed lawmakers are also reportedly suggesting to other businesses that working with Chinese firms could inhibit their ability to work with the USA government, according to Reuters. It told Reuters that its equipment is used by 45 of the world's top 50 carriers, and that security for its clients is paramount.

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The US government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of US money transfer firm MoneyGram.

Conway's bill would prohibit the USA government from purchasing and using "telecommunications equipment and/or services", from Huawei and ZTE.

"The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications". Last summer, the heads of the six major USA intelligence agencies told a Senate Intelligence Committee that they had concerns over using security products from Kaspersky Lab, while the UK's national Cyber Security Centre issued a new guidance over the Russian-company's products, citing concerns about potential connections to the Russian government.

China Mobile, which applied to the FCC for a licence to operate in the U.S. in 2011, should not be given it say the politicians.

The pressure is coming in the form of a threat to any deals with the federal government if AT&T continues to have contact with Huawei and China Mobile, the sources said. The bill that was made public this Friday is supposed to prevent the federal government from working with companies that use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, or their services.


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