Lenovo head lashes out at State decision

Decision to bar Chinese PCs from classified networks is "unfair, political," computer maker CEO says.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

Lenovo's chairman lashed out at the US State Dept.'s decision to ban Chinese computers from its classified networks, after having ordered Lenovo PCs for just that purpose, the Shanghai Daily reports.

"It is unfair to Lenovo, a market-oriented firm," Yang Yuanqing said. "The US government showed attitude this time instead of individual lawyers and senators."

In March, State ordered 16,000 Lenovo PCs for classified and nonclassified networks from Lenovo dealer CDW. But in the political fallout of the Dubai ports deal and Google's agreement to censor its search engine in China, some in Washington attacked the deal. The complaint is that it's insecure to use computers built by a company partially owned by the Chinese government in secure US networks. Perhaps the Chinese will install some secret spy chip in the PCs, goes the concern.

The Chinese government owns 27 percent of Lenovo. In May, the Washington Post reported that Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) was leading a charge against State's use of Lenovo PCs.

Wolf ... wrote the secretary of state to say he was "distressed to learn that your department may be jeopardizing this [$4.2 billion] investment in a secure [information technology] infrastructure." "These computers should not be used in the classified network," Wolf wrote.

"Our products comply with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States) and all suppliers' requirements," Yang said. "We hope the business is not affected by political reasons."

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