Sci-tech

ZTE and Huawei phones banned for sale at military bases: Pentagon ordered

ZTE and Huawei phones banned for sale at military bases: Pentagon ordered

Technology retailers selling to on-base United States military personnel can not sell phones from Huawei or ZTE anymore. Now, ZTE is banned from receiving US exports until March 2025.

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The Pentagon is concerned that the Chinese government will be able to track the location of USA soldiers using Huawei and ZTE phones.

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Representatives of Huawei and ZTE could not be reached immediately for comment on the possible executive action, though both have denied allegations their products are used to spy. The order comes from the Pentagon and applies to United States military bases around the world, a decision made over alleged security issues the devices may present.

The Pentagon declined to provide the technical details of potential threats. Earlier, the Congress party-led government raised issues about the supply of telecom equipments by Huawei and ZTE to leading telecom operators in India.

In a statement, the Pentagon said, "Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the Department's personnel, information and mission". United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are also at issue. The relationship has seen Trump threaten to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports, a move that could trigger a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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ZTE called the move "extremely unfair". Though these devices can no longer be sold on military base retail stores, nor in retail stores near them that specifically cater to USA personnel, troops can still purchase the devices elsewhere for personal use.

The military apparently fears that China would be able to use Huawei and ZTE phones to track soldiers and gather data about base operations, troop movements, and gatherings.

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