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A new move from the White House could come via executive order in the next few weeks, which could involve limiting companies doing business with the US government from using the Chinese companies' gear.

Pentagon-affiliated news outlet Stars and Stripes reported last month that Huawei phones were being sold by a TKS, a vendor to USA military bases in Germany.

He was referring to the outlets on military installations or near military installations in the USA and overseas that serve American soldiers and sailors.

"In light of this information, it was not prudent for the department's exchanges to continue selling them", added Army Maj.

"Given security concerns about ZTE cell phones and related products, the (Pentagon's) exchange services also removed ZTE products from their stores", he said. ZTE has largely weathered the broader USA spying concerns better, due in part to a broader footprint in the States than Huawei, but the company admitted that this latest ban would be downright devestating.

"Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to [the department's] personnel, information and mission", he said in a statement. The reason put forward for this is the same old story that using such devices made by either of the two Chinese manufacturers could pose a security risk.

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The Pentagon is now reviewing whether to issue a wider advisory warning to USA service members about the risk of using phones made by these two Chinese brands, said Eastburn, although technical aspects of the potential threats were not revealed by the Pentagon.

Reached by email, a Huawei spokesperson did not comment on the military base ban, but spurned the notion that the company has a compromising relationship with the Chinese government.

"Huawei's products are sold in 170 countries worldwide and meet the highest standards of security, privacy, and engineering in every country we operate globally, including the US".

In the United Kingdom, meanwhile, the National Cyber Security Centre has followed the US' lead with a warning to United Kingdom telecoms firms to stop using equipment from ZTE.

The ban imposed by the Department of Commerce is the result of a violation against U.S. Iranian sanctions.


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