The other day, the U.S. Navy was about to issue a contract — nothing remarkable for an organization that awards dozens each week.
Then the contracting office realized that the specific division of the company they wanted to work with was in a joint venture with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei. All of a sudden, the service “turned around and said, ‘Whoa, stop the horses,’” Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told lawmakers Thursday.
In 2014, concerns about espionage led the U.S. to ban Huawei, which was founded by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer, from bidding on government contracts. In February, U.S. intelligence chiefs cautioned even the average American against buying Huawei products.
In this case, the Navy didn’t automatically kill the contract — though they did put a hold on it as they talked with the prime contractor.
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