Chinese companies, such as ZTE and Huawei, have very grand ambitions on the world stage, but in order to achieve them they're going to have to get past some serious allegations of untrustworthiness.
Both companies have been accused of essentially being state-sponsored organizations with ties to the Chinese government, and their businesses have faced uphill struggles in some Western markets, including the United States.
The United States even issued an investigation last year that suggested phone carriers look to other companies to do business with, and they've been banned from selling telecommunication equipment to U.S. companies.
Surprisingly, ZTE CEO Lixin Cheng doesn't seem too bothered by the situation. In fact, he said the investigation actually ended up being a positive development.
"So far, the report really has no negative impact on our business in the US ... it actually helps us build the brand," said Cheng in an interview with Engadget. "When the report came out, it was such a high profile news and everyone was talking about ZTE. Some of our handset consumers may call the hotline and say, 'Hey, I have a phone from ZTE, do I have security concerns?' And of course, most people would find out no, there are no security concerns."
The bipartisan report issued by the House of Representatives specifically cited national security concerns, data theft and indicated that the companies could be involved in espionage.
Of course, both ZTE and Huawei have strongly denied the accusations, saying that the only people being hurt by U.S. recommendations to look elsewhere are consumers who won't benefit from cheaper prices and increased competition.
Cheng told Engadget that ZTE is a publicly traded company forced to meet strict transparency requirements. He also added that he will do anything possible to cooperate with concerned authorities.
"We always respect the U.S. local laws, the U.S. government and the U.S. legislators' duties to protect the national interests of the U.S.," said Cheng.
Over the coming years, Cheng hopes that national security concerns will lessen, allowing the ZTE to sell not only telecom equipment in the U.S., but also its wide portfolio of mobile products. After all, Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm, and more contribute to ZTE's devices, "So the more we succeed, we can bring more jobs and better economy for the U.S., so it's a win-win situation," said Cheng.