Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE have come under fire a lot, particularly in the U.S., as there were concerns mounted by Washington that these companies might develop products that would let the Chinese government snoop. The allegations have always been denied. Both China and U.S. have discussed cyberattacks at length, but a recent leak by Edward Snowden might cause a build up in tension between the two behemoths. Snowden’s latest leaks allege that the National Security Agency infiltrated Huawei and even managed to get its hands on source code for individual products. China has now demanded a “clear explanation” from the U.S. on this.
The remarks came from Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry. Lei said that the country is “extremely concerned” about these allegations. He adds that the country had lodged numerous complaints against the U.S. about this, and now it demands a clear explanation and that the U.S. “stop such acts.”
The Snowden documents alleged that NSA started snooping into Huwaei in 2009, when it intercepted an email by the company’s Chairwoman Sun Yafang and CEO Red Zhengfei. NSA then worked its way to obtain confidential information about Huawei. Given that its believed to have obtain source code for individual products, this may cause further tension. Huawei is one of the world’s largest networking equipment provider. If the NSA is able to tap into those products, it can effectively monitor communications of countries that use Huawei networking equipment.