KPN’s Chinese partners under fire in US, ministers asked to explain

MPs are to ask the cabinet about its position on plans by telecoms company KPN to work with Chinese telecom firms Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp the Financieele Dagblad reports.

The questions have been prompted by a report by the US Congress intelligence committee which says both firms should be banned from taking over or working with companies in the US.
The report says the two firms form a security risk for the US and ‘provide opportunities for Chinese intelligence services to tamper with US telecommunications networks for spying’, according to US media.
The report said the companies failed to cooperate with a year-long investigation and to adequately explain their US business interests and relationship with the Chinese government.
‘If the Americans issue such a warning, then the Dutch government should look at it,’ VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke told the paper. ‘KPN is not stupid but we must take this very seriously. It is quite legitimate for the government to ask KPN a number of criticial questions about the alliances with Huawei and ZTE.’
Labour MP Frans Timmermans says he also wants foreign minister Uri Rosenthal and economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen to state their position on the US report.
Huawei supplies KPN network equipment while ZTE makes mobile phones, the FD says. KPN refused to comment.

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