State Security warns Chinese smartphones for spying, there is a deep interaction with the Chinese government
Steph Deschamps / July 31, 2021
Belgian intelligence services urge vigilance with regard to Chinese-branded smartphones. There would be a systematic and deep interaction between the companies Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus and the Chinese state, report Saturday L'Echo and De Tijd.
The smartphones of these Chinese brands are very popular with Belgian consumers, the newspapers point out, but State Security warns of the risk of espionage. According to the intelligence services, there is a systematic and deep interaction between these companies and the Chinese government. This was revealed in an answer given by Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) to N-VA parliamentarian Michael Freilich.
The intelligence services want to draw the attention of consumers to the potential threat of spying if they use these devices, even if no concrete case could be identified, explains the spokeswoman of the State Security, Ingrid Van Daele. So we advise them to be vigilant, she says. In addition to the confusion between these companies and the Chinese authorities, other countries (including the Netherlands and the United States) have already expressed concerns about Chinese telecom companies and the risks to privacy and national security.
The interdependence between these Chinese companies and the Beijing government's intelligence and security services is even enshrined in law, Van Daele continued. For example, China's National Intelligence Law requires all Chinese companies to collaborate with the intelligence services.
OnePlus and Xiaomi have not responded. Oppo's Belgian spokesman, Dries Cludts, meanwhile, said the company operates in more than 40 countries and regions around the world and has positive relations with the governments and governing bodies of the countries in which it operates. We work in compliance with all local laws and regulations, he said.