Caution!! Why China-made smart phones pose a security threat

This is following US intelligence agencies stern caution to Americans; they should not purchase Chinese made mobile phone companies Huawei and ZTe since it poses a security threat.

FBI Director Chris Wray while speaking to Americans said that it is risky to let any company ‘beholden to foreign governments’ inside the US’s telecommunication infrastructure.

Despite the fact that is a global leader in networking equipment they have been previously blocked from selling technology to some federal US agencies.

“It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information,” said the FBI director adding “And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

While we are on this subject, Kenya has to a great extent invested on Huawei technology. Huawei entered the Kenyan market 20 years ago and it currently commands 15 percent of smart phone market in Kenya and the figure could grow against a backdrop of rising incomes.

Huawei-made smartphones are very popular the Kenyan market. They are available in Safaricom dealer shops and other business outlets in the country.

China and Kenya have in the recent past had a strong partnership. Owing to the deep cooperation, President Kenyatta in May last year paid a visit to Huawei headquarters  in May 2017 where he signed an agreement with the firm to build government cloud services.

Kenya has invested greatly in Chinese technology in its flagship projects like national police service surveillance cameras and even in the telecommunication sector.

China is currently in the glare of publicity after reports surfaced that it spied on the servers at the African Union’s Chinese-built headquarters for over five years, gaining access to confidential information.

In a probe published by French newspaper Le Monde, China, which also paid and built the computer network at the AU, allegedly inserted a backdoor that allowed it to transfer data. The hack wasn’t detected until Jan. 2017 when technicians noticed that between midnight and 2 am every night, there was a peak in data usage even though the building was empty. After investigating, it was found that the continental organization’s confidential data was being copied on to servers in Shanghai.

However, China’s ambassador to the AU Kuang Weilin dismissed the claims terming it as “absurd” and “preposterous.”

Chinese’ growing interest in the Kenyan government has been a topic of discussion among Kenyans. Chinese companies are slowly gaining access to the Kenyan market through government infrastructural deals.


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