A top U.S. counterintelligence official is pointing the finger beyond Huawei as the main threat to U.S. cybersecurity.
William Evanina heads the National Counterintelligence and Security Center under the Director of National Intelligence. He warns that the Chinese Communist Party is using Chinese companies like Huawei to advance its objectives.
“Huawei to me, in my position, is not the problem. It’s the Communist Party of China. If Huawei goes away, there’s another company that’s going to facilitate that role of the Communist Party of China and Xi Jinping’s effort to be the global supplier of telecommunications.”
Early this year, Huawei held a 28 percent share of the global telecommunications market. Across the world, both Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese company, are trying to build countries’ 5G networks.
As China becomes increasingly assertive in cyberspace, U.S. cybersecurity could be less a question of who the provider is, and more who is pulling the strings behind the provider.
Evanina said the United States is losing between $400 and $600 billion a year from China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property. That breaks down, he said, to about $4,000 per family a year.
“So we have to stand up from their theft,” Evanina said.