Chinese phone makers ZTE and Huawei remain under scrutiny by the USA government, which has banned them from retail stores on military bases. Last year, 2,400 Huawei and ZTE handsets were sold by stores that focus on soldiers and sailors, on or near military bases in the US and overseas.
Eastburn said the Pentagon also considered an outright ban on personnel owning Huawei or ZTE devices, even those purchased independently of the Defense Exchange network.
The year 2018 continues to be a tough one for Huawei and ZTE with regard to the US market. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. after senior us intelligence officials warned the phones could be used to spy on Americans and USA service members.
The Federal Communications Commission in April proposed barring the use of funds from a government program to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a security threat to USA communications networks.
Eastburn was quoted as saying "it was not prudent for the Department's exchange services to continue selling these products to our personnel", because of USA intelligence concerns at their security. USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are also at issue.
India, which is considering China as a threat to its national security, is yet to respond to American concerns on Huawei and ZTE. The relationship has seen Trump threaten to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports, a move that could trigger a trade war between the world's two largest economies. The FBI is just one of the five intelligence agencies that testified before a Senate panel in February about the risks of using Huawei or ZTE products. US officials had previously expressed concernsthat the phones could be created to permit access by the Chinese government. Best Buy recently made a decision to stop selling Huawei gear in the US. Though these devices can no longer be sold on military base retail stores, nor in retail stores near them that specifically cater to U.S. personnel, troops can still purchase the devices elsewhere for personal use.