Yes, there is a cold war raging between the U.S. and China for the supremacy at the world stage. Both countries have been trying to become an ultimate superpower in the world. In the tug of war of the throne adorning superpower, both countries have taken some measures to outrun each other. China is not giving tax exemptions to the U.S. tech companies in its country. So, these companies have to collaborate with Chinese companies to launch their projects and gain some tax exemption. On the other hand, the U.S. has been playing their cards by not allowing some of the Chinese companies to operate in its country. Though it is not clear whether the U.S. is acting out as a vindication or there are threats that are posed by the Chinese companies.
As the secure documents of its intelligence agency National Security Agency (NSA) were stolen from a home computer of an official with the help of Kaspersky software by Russian hackers, there was an uproar stating that the security company helped hackers steal those documents. Kaspersky is a Moscow-based anti-virus firm. Though Kaspersky denied all the allegations and tried to defend itself, the anti-virus software was uninstalled from government offices of the U.S. The threat to national security was the reason cited for a ban of software.
Recently, the U.S. government has banned a Chinese telecom company citing the reason of a possible risk to national security. The Chinese telecom firm is China Mobile. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) advised the Federal Communications Commission by issuing a statement in which it mentioned that China Mobile should not be allowed. China Mobile is the world’s third-biggest carrier following AT&T and Verizon that have been operating in the United States.
The NTIA became the most concerned about China Mobile as the major stake of the company is owned by the Chinese government. NTIA stated that any firm in which a foreign government has its stake of more than a 10 percent must be scrutinized.
“China Mobile is vulnerable to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government,” the filing by NTIA states, adding, “Authorization poses an unacceptable risk to US national security and law enforcement and the risk can be expected to increase over time.”
The government indicated that there are growing intelligence and espionage activities targeting the United States. Moreover, the Chinese telecom company can be used as a pawn to carry out activities such as cyber espionage and attacks. The filing by NTIA also claimed that if the secure hardware is used by China mobile, which it assured that it does, the firm can be used by the Chinese authorities to nullify the hardware’s security. Moreover, U.S. authorities outlined that if it strives to undo the impact of a breach by the Chinese government, the harm caused would be impossible to nullify. Offering them national security or law enforcement requests on a silver platter or access to customer data without the prior permission of users could “create irreparable damage to US national security.”
In past few months, the U.S. government has taken many measures against Chinese tech companies including ZTE and Huawei. The clashes between countries have impacted the tech giants endeavoring to expand their presence in both countries. Let us see how Chinese authorities will react to this.