US considering further restrictions on Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturers ZTE and Huawei

Pentagon bans sale of Huawei and ZTE phones on US military bases

Technology retailers selling to on-base United States military personnel can not sell phones from Huawei or ZTE anymore.

As of April 25, the Pentagon ordered that these and related products be removed from its stores worldwide, according to Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn.

The US Deparment of Defense has expressed concerns over smart devices issued by the two companies, fearing that they may pose an "unacceptable risk to the department's personnel, information, and mission".

Service members will not be prohibited from using the devices outright or from bringing them to work, but the Defense Department stressed that they "should be mindful of the security risks posed by the use of Huawei devices, regardless of where they were purchased".

While both companies have denied these allegations, the DoD still deems the companies as potential security threats. "Given the security concerns associated with these devices, as expressed by senior USA intelligence officials, it was not prudent for the Department's exchange services to continue selling these products to our personnel".

That net spread wider last week, with The Wall Street Journal reporting a Justice Department investigation into whether Huawei had also breached Iran sanctions. The FBI is just one of the five intelligence agencies that testified before a Senate panel in February about the risks of using Huawei or ZTE products.

ZTE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ZTE called the move "extremely unfair". Washington insiders have always been anxious about the Chinese government's growing cyber-influence across the world and that modems and phones could compromise the security of the United States's communications grid. As well, officials indicate that the government may evaluate whether more drastic measures are necessary - that is, whether to ban Huawei and ZTE devices from use by troops altogether.

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