A White House-ordered review of security risks posed by suppliers to US telecommunications companies found no clear evidence that Huawei Technologies Ltd had spied for China, two people familiar with the probe told Reuters.
Aided by US intelligence agencies and other departments, those conducting the largely classified White House inquiry delved into reports of suspicious activity and asked detailed questions of nearly 1,000 telecom equipment buyers, according to the people familiar with the probe.
"We knew certain parts of government really wanted" evidence of active spying, said one of the people, who requested anonymity. "We would have found it if it were there."
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on the review. A spokesman for Huawei said the company was not familiar with the review but it was not surprised that no evidence of Huawei espionage was found.
Last week's report from the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Intelligence Committee noted the potential for spying through Huawei gear installed to manage traffic on wireless networks. The committee also criticized Huawei's leadership for failing to provide details about its relationships with Chinese government agencies.
Huawei, whose chief executive officer, Ren Zhengfei, has rejected the House report as unfair and inaccurate. China's Commerce Ministry has also called the accusations "groundless".
"Huawei is a $32 billion independent multinational that would not jeopardize its success or the integrity of its customers' networks for any government or third party." the company's US spokesman Bill Plummer said on Wednesday.
The House Intelligence Committee's report did not present concrete evidence that either Huawei or ZTE have stolen US data.
Rogers, the report's lead author, stoked concerns by saying some customers had seen routers sending off "very valuable data" to China.
But in the one case a committee staff member pointed out to Reuters, Leap Wireless International Inc said that while some of its computers were infected with viruses earlier this year, an investigation found no evidence that the infection was deliberate or that confidential data had been stolen.
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