USA declares Chinese companies a security threat

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: China's top two communications manufacturers have been labelled a security threat by a US congressional committee. 

The House Intelligence Committee says Huawei Technologies and the ZTE Corporation should be shut out of the American market because they're open to Chinese state influence. 

The panel is concerned that the Chinese government could exploit the company's presence on US networks to intercept high-level communications or to start a cyber war.

DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER, COMMITTEE MEMBER: One of the main reasons we're having this investigation is to educate the citizens and businesses of the United States of America. In the telecommunications world, once you get the camel's nose in the tent, you can go anywhere.

MIKE ROGERS, COMMITTEE MEMBER: If I were an American company today - and I'll tell you this as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence - and you were looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor, if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers' privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America.

EMMA ALBERICI: Huawei has already been disqualified from bidding for work on Australia's National Broadband Network because of security concerns. 

Both Huawei and ZTE have released statements rejecting claims they're influenced by the Chinese government.

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