WASHINGTON – Two major Chinese technology companies on Thursday denied allegations that some of their equipment is designed to facilitate spying, but struggled to convince U.S. lawmakers that they are independent from the dictates of Beijing’s communist government.
Raising their right hands, executives of Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp took an oath before testifying to the House Intelligence Committee, in what was a rare appearance by Chinese business leaders before a congressional panel. The hearing lasted 3 1/2 hours and the executives answered questions through interpreters.
The committee is finalizing a yearlong probe into whether the companies pose a risk to U.S. national security. They are among the world’s largest suppliers of telecommunications gear and want to expand their operations in the U.S. Huawei is a private company, founded by a former Chinese military engineer. ZTE Corp. is partly state-owned.