For years, China’s technology
was lagging. In China, the world’s largest smartphone market, most handsets are
either Apple Inc. iPhones or are powered by Google’s Android operating system.
China would like to gain dominance in the smart phone industry. Therefore,
seeking to make its own secure smartphones, in an attempt to insulate its
handsets from U.S. surveillance. Beijing wants to build a homegrown tech
industry that eliminates U.S. suppliers. China’s efforts stem from revelations
in 2013 of former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that
the NSA had placed surveillance “back doors” in some American gear sold
Chinese smartphone maker ZTE
Corp. is working on a secure smartphone for government agencies using an
operating system developed in-house, and a processor chip from a Chinese
supplier. The country’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, last year switched publicly to
a Chinese-made smartphone, the ZTE Nubia Z5, after being criticized for using
an iPhone, yet the Chinese device ran on Android and included a Qualcomm Inc.
processor, according to its specifications list.Multiple Chinese technology
companies are making progress toward eliminating Western technology.
Chinese e-commerce company
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has also joined with China’s Ministry of Public
Security to develop a secure mobile operating system for police officers. that
it bills as more secure. All of the efforts target a niche group of government
agencies and state-owned enterprises and are unlikely to target the average
consumer. For example, ZTE’s secure phone will come without camera, GPS, Wi-Fi
and Bluetooth wireless connections to minimize security risks.
The trend is unlikely to have
much impact on the market share in China of U.S. mobile components and
software. Analyst James Yan of market-research firm IDC estimates secure phones
might make up 3% of China’s smartphone sales next year, or about two million
units. But if more made-in-China operating systems and processors emerge into
consumer handsets that could possibly pose a challenge for Google’s Android and
China's desire to create its
own smartphone in order to avoid U.S. surveillance can be related to chapter 6
, which discusses cyber security. China wants to avoid the incident
that took place when Snowden leaked confidential information. Therefore, China
deems it necessary to create their own secure phone.