CIA vs Huawei: intelligence agencies gang up on red menace... like the Mate 10 Pro

In the latest installment of the "everybody is spying on us and we have to protect ourselves" drama, the US intelligence agencies have taken a firm stance against... the Kirin 970 chipset paired with dual f/1.6 aperture Leica cameras, and a 4000mAh battery. 

Yes, we are talking about the Mate 10 Pro, or other "products and services" made by Huawei or ZTE, lumped together in Tuesday's Senate testimony by heads of security agencies like CIA, FBI, NSA, and others from the three-letter security soup that, thankfully, keeps us safe from election or NSA hacks.

FBI Director Chris Wray went on record to reiterate the multi-year mantra that they are "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... the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage."

Well, that likely explains why US carriers were forced to scrap the deal to include excellent handsets like the Mate 10 Pro in their portfolios at the last minute, depriving subscribers of the chance to look beyond the Apple-Samsung duopoly there. While we can agree that carrier network equipment could potentially warrant a second opinion, crusading against consumer products by the third-largest cell phone maker on that ground sets an interesting precedent, to say the least. 

Those celebrity photos circulating not long ago came from iCloud accounts, after all, not Huawei phones, plus a lot of handsets and components are made in China anyway, so if the government there needed to install backdoors in consumer cell phones, it probably could, and we would have heard about it by now. Huawei chimed in on the matter, saying that its phones and network equipment products are used throughout the globe without other staged witch hunts to speak of:   



1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

"NSA, and others from the three-letter security soup that, thankfully, keeps us safe from election or NSA hacks" So the NSA keeps us safe from NSA Hacks. "beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values" So basically the rest of the world. In the end, the CIA, NSA and other three letter security soup don't want any competition in global spying on users and companies.

3. Techlover2018

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 14, 2017

China bans Facebook ,Playstore , Youtube and an uncountable number of service from all across the globe. So a Chinese company restrictions should not be a surprise to Huawei.

4. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

Most of those are bans due to the content of such websites which do not go in line with China's tradition and policy. It is for the same reason many US artists and musicians have been banned in China, and those who want to perfom in China must submit their lyrics beforehand for censorship and approval before they can go ahead with their musical concert. It's got nothing to do whith "spying" or "security" the US government says to justify their ban on Huawei devices. Truth is that the US government does not want China's competition as that would affect American brands there, with Huawei offering great performance at half of the usual US price tag.

28. nerdmb

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 11, 2017

Yes china is a communist nation. If they do not ban western stuff and have a total control over what their people see and hear, their communist government cannot be sustained.

35. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

At least America has a more refined way of controlling their people through media, consumerism and keeping the people dumb in general.

5. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

China bans every site where they can't control content. So they ban companies that don't comply with Chinese law. And while many Chinese phones don't ship with the Play store, the Play store isn't banned in China, just the paid apps section. But what does this have to do with banning a Chinese brand from selling stuff in the US? The US doesn't seem to have a problem using China for its cheap labour.

2. Cat97

Posts: 1892; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

So Mate 10 Pro is spying on customers.

9. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

US will rebrand it as mate 10 go pro.

18. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

No there has never been a proven case of spyware or back doors on Huawei phones.

6. Bondurant

Posts: 781; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

There was already report from couple years ago that it wasn't Huawei but US govt spying on every other person on the planet using Android and iOS and what not.

8. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

They hate competition

7. ShadowHammer

Posts: 204; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Oh, the hypocrisy of US govt agencies worried about spying from other countries when Edward Snowden and others have proven the agencies themselves spy on everyone they can. There also seems to be a bit of US pride in making it sound like Chinese phone makers are the best/only way to spy on the US. Come on US, if other countries want to spy on the US, they have many ways to do it. You know what's a better plan? Keep secrets to a minimum, and be as transparent as you can. Like that'll happen...

10. Sesto_Sento

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

"everybody is spying on us and we have to protect ourselves" LOL a nice catch phrase, coming from the agencies that were caught SPYING on the whole world.... Go F... Yourselves, USA GOVERNMENT AGENCIES...

11. vprasad1

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Sponsored by Cisco, Qualcomm, and Apple

12. Benalys

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

In the root it is the behavior of the communist party controlled government who still tightly controls their people. At the same time they still hold the ideology of treating the western world, including Taiwan, South Korea and Japan as their enemies. Under such guideline, the Chinese government has ordered all the native communication hardware manufacturers, including router and smartphones, to leave a back door so that the government can inspect the data (which means the voices, texts and the web content) be inspected whenever they wanted. Lenovo does the same to their products sold in China. I suspect since Lenovo has taken over the Motorola, the Moto phones under the Lenovo have the back doors as well.

19. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

You nailed it! Every Chinese phone brand has been discovered to have back door vulnerabilities, including One Plus.

32. raky_b

Posts: 390; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

You mean every android-google operated phone!? Just like Apple phones too...!? Hmmmm...both OSs are US based, as I know...And both of them are just a spyware that we willingly give and sphere our informations and privacy.

31. raky_b

Posts: 390; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

And now US is going to be just as communist China, by restrictions, censoring choosing for you and giving you only things that they think are ok....and you are approving that call!? You would like to live in country that is just like North Korea!? Let alone that they are the ones that ware catched spying their citizens just like other countries government and people!? Now they are killing democracy in their own country (just like they killed it in many countries around the world), free market and economy.... What good can come out from that!?

13. duckofdeath unregistered

Isn't this the actual definition of deep state? Trumpism using intelligence agencie's "opinions" to block competition.

14. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

"Fascist US government reduces competition against home grown brand."

16. jacky899

Posts: 430; Member since: May 16, 2017

Interesting because NSA is known worldwide to be the priven largest international spying agency amd they implement backdoors in nearly all of the US bramded products yet the US gov are still making accusations of other countries' products spying without any real evidence.

17. Deadeye37

Posts: 300; Member since: Jan 25, 2011

IMO, if they're trying to secretly send information - PROVE IT! They certainly have the means to do so. This whole thing comes down to extreme paranoia. I like my Mate 9 and HW2 and really would like to see Huawei give Samsung and Apple a run for their money.

20. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Thats the problem, Huawei are a genuine threat to the US's darling Apple. They have gone from nowhere to selling over 150 million phones a year in around 5 years and it's still climbing fast. This is Apples lobbying dollars talking, probably part of the deal to repatriate all those stolen tax dollars.

29. nerdmb

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 11, 2017

Apple does not care about huawei enough to lobby against them. Huawei have close to non-existence outside of china. It’s just chinese communist government behind huawei, or any of china’s communications related companies backed by communist government.

33. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Huawei are non existant outside of China? Huawei has 9.5% of the global market compared to Apples 12.6%, they are experiencing huge growth in Europe. Just becuase they are almost non existant in the US does not mean they don't do well in the rest of the world. If they were allowed onto US carriers they would take Apples 2nd place within 12 months.

22. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Your first article is about the Adups software, Huawei has never done business with that company, and the only phone which was found to have a backdoor in Adups was a Blu phone which is an American company. Your second article is about back end routing network equipment and has never been proven to have any backdoor, the US Gov is just pi$$ed because it can't examine the microcode. Huawei is the worlds largest wireless equipment manufacturer and is a huge threat to Cisco if it were granted access to the US. Ever wondered why no other security service apart from the US ones have ever had a problem with Huawei even though thier network equipment is used in over 170 countries? Here in the UK we have a government that is just as bad as the US for spying and security and shares almost everything with the US Gov, yet our 4G and fibre network is built on Huawei equipment.

23. swarai

Posts: 85; Member since: Aug 07, 2014

Complain all you want, but which one of us going to buy a Huawei or ZTE phone now?

26. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Plenty, the world is a very big place outside of the US. And it's the US Gov doing the complaining.

24. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Have they actually proven that Kirin 970 chipsets spy on its users?? Unless they have, theres some shocking tin foil hatting going on in the US government protection agencies lol! In any case I'm anti Huawei anyways after they didn't update the P9 to Android 7 in Australia.. Long life LG!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.