III to bar China-made devices from accessing its internal network

Taipei, The Institute for Information Industry (III), a government-sponsored high-tech research group, said Wednesday that users of China-made communications devices will no longer be allowed to access its internal network, starting in May at the earliest, due to security concerns.

The decision came one day after the institute said it was considering a ban on smartphones and notebook computers made by China-based Huawei Technologies Co.

According to the institute, its prohibitions on devices made in China are aimed at preventing security breaches.

Speaking to the press Wednesday, III spokesman W.T. Chen said the institute will complete all the preparatory work by the end of April and the ban on China-made communications devices will take effect in May.

As one of the major tech research and development institutes in Taiwan, the III has many valuable assets that must be protected, he said.

After a careful check last week, the institute has determined that it never used any equipment made by Huawei, Chen said, adding that the checks will continue into June to find out whether it has equipment made by any other Chinese companies.

The III decision came on the heels of a similar one by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), another government-sponsored research group, which said Monday that it was barring access to its internal network by Huawei's devices, with effect from noon next day.

While ITRI said users of Huawei products will still be able to access its website, III did not specify whether it had made a similar decision.

Huawei, one of the world's largest producers of telecommunications equipment, is facing close scrutiny by Western countries, in particular the United States, which have cited its close ties to the Chinese government and expressed concern that its devices may be used by Beijing for espionage purposes.

Taiwan's National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said Tuesday that it was studying the feasibility of barring access to its internal network by Huawei devices.

According to the Cabinet's information security office, the Presidential Office and the central government have banned employees from using China-branded communications devices while on duty.

In the private sector, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, and ASE Technology Holding Co., the world's largest integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider, said their employees are not allowed to use China-made smartphones at their production sites.

Xunwei Technologies Co., a Huawei sales agent in Taiwan, said that all the company's products sold in Taiwan meet the regulations and requirements laid down by the National Communications Commission.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel