ZTE follows Huawei’s footsteps, opens cybersecurity lab in Brussels

Huawei and ZTE are striving to increase transparency regarding their products in order to mitigate allegations of espionage. It is not clear whether these lab tests will cover re-routing of data through servers located in China, thus compromising unencrypted data.

In a significant development, embattled Chinese telecom vendor ZTE opened a cybersecurity lab in Brussels, in an aim to boost transparency. The move mirrors bigger Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei doing the same four months back.

Chinese vendors have increasingly come under scrutiny in a host of countries, including the United States, who believe that equipment sold by these Chinese companies can be used by Beijing for economic and military espionage purposes, especially in the 5G scenario.

The U.S. has blacklisted Huawei from doing business with U.S. companies, which will now need special approval to export products to it.

Huawei has denied the U.S. allegations.

Although ZTE is not blacklisted, it has opened a new cyber lab in order to allow customers, regulators and other stakeholders to review its source code and other documents as well as carry out software testing to simulate all sorts of scenarios, including hacking attacks.

“Security for the ICT industry cannot be guarded by one sole vendor, or by one sole telecoms operator. ZTE is willing to play an important role in contributing to the industry’s security,” said ZTE’s Chief Security Officer Zhong Hong in a statement.

ZTE has cybersecurity labs in Rome and in Nanjing, China.

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