Stay away from Huawei, ZTE phones, U.S. intel officials tell consumers

Senior U.S. intelligence officials are advising consumers to avoid buying phones made by Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, citing security risks.  

The U.S. government is "deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks," FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday

Wray's comments, reiterated by officials with the CIA, National Security Agency and the director of national intelligence, echo concerns that prompted a 2014 ban that bar Huawei from bidding on U.S. government contracts. 

Started by a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army, Huawei had a 10 percent share of global smartphone shipments in 2017, behind Samsung's 19 percent stake and Apple's 19 percent, according to U.K.-based Strategy Analytics.

Legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R.-Texas, would ban federal employees from using smartphones made by Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese technology giant. 

Huawei said in a statement that its products are used by governments and consumers in 170 countries and pose "no greater cybersecurity risk than any other ICT vendor," according to ZDNet.