Czech Republic Confirms Chinese Tech Giant Huawei a Security Risk

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 04: Visitors try out the Honor 7 smartphone at the Huawei stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The 2015 IFA will be open to the public from September 4-9. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty

The Czech Republic’s National Office for Cybernetics and Information Security (NÚKIB) has upheld a decision in which it labelled tech giant Huawei and ZTE a security risk in relation to both their hardware and software.

The initial NÚKIB warning was put out in December and was challenged by Huawei after the report cost them a large contract with the country’s General Financial Directorate, Czech broadcaster CT24 reports.

Several other government agencies and ministries have also banned the use of Huawei and ZTE technology, including the Czech Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defence employees who were told to remove the “AirWatch” app from their Huawei devices earlier this week. In total, 160 government agencies have been ordered to review their usage of Huawei and ZTE products.

Huawei has reacted to the statement of NÚKIB by initially demanding a review and that the statement be either rescinded or modified. The NÚKIB confirmed Thursday that they would do neither.

The Chinese tech giant has also threatened to invoke a clause in a 2006 treaty that would allow an independent arbitration on the matter.

Czech President Miloš Zeman, who is known for his openness towards the Chinese and Chinese investment, slammed the initial NÚKIB  warning and accused the agency of damaging Czech economic interests.

The Czech warning comes after Huawei has suffered similar allegations in the United States including theft of trade secrets from their U.S. business partners. As a result, the U.S. federal government launched a formal investigation into the company last month.

Poland’s Internal Security Agency also brought charges against a Huawei manager last month on charges of espionage against the Polish government on behalf of the Chinese government.

The most notable arrest of a Huawei employee came last December when chief financial officer and daughter of the founder of the company Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada over accusations of selling technology to Iran and violating U.S.-led sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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