Reports indicate ZTE is suspected of being naughty, yet again, with respect to US government conditions for being able to operate there.
Reuters had got hold of a letter from a couple of US senators, asking their government to look into whether or not ZTE worked with individuals on its persona non grata list. This sort of thing usually refers to countries the US disapproves of an in this case it’s Venezuela, which is in the middle of a communist, authoritarian misadventure of North Korean proportions.
In common with all such projects Venezuela has prioritised spying on and victimising its own citizens in a bid to protect the ruling elite from the perfectly reasonable opposition their sociopathic activities receive. The gripe, apparently, is that US components helped Venezuela’s government to flout democratic processes or human rights. Shocking.
The specific project involves ZTE helping the Venezuelan state build a database that would track its citizens though a national ID card scheme, rather creepily called ‘the fatherland card’. The senators reckon some of the datacenters ZTE helped create used Dell gear, and the document Reuters saw would appear to confirm that.
The Senators are likely to get a sympathetic hearing from the US government, which has had it in for Chinese telecoms companies for years. ZTE only just rescued itself from apparent doom earlier this year by handing over loads of money and promising to be squeaky clean from now on. The consequences of ZTE being found guilty of a fourth strike don’t bear thinking about.