After learning that Facebook has data sharing partnerships with Chinese firms, members of Congress are seeking to learn more about the practice. Huawei, for example, was among the 60 companies around the world that have gained access to user data after signing contracts, Reuters reported.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said in a statement, “The news that Facebook provided privileged access to Facebook’s API to Chinese device makers like Huawei and TCL raises legitimate concerns, and I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers.”
Even so, Facebook said more than half of the partnerships are coming to an end — and it plans to end its agreement with Huawei. Additionally, it plans to bring three partnerships with Chinese companies to a close.
The news comes as ZTE might be getting a reprieve about a month after the Chinese company was banned from buying tech components from American companies after reportedly breaking U.S. sanctions against North Korea and Iran, Reuters reported in May. After ZTE pays a fine, makes changes to its management team and adds American compliance officers, the Commerce Department will reportedly lift the restriction. ZTE would then be able to work with U.S. firms, such as Qualcomm, again.
Though the White House didn’t immediately confirm the deal to Reuters at the time, Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, “Yes, they have a deal in mind. It is a great deal … for #ZTE & China. #China crushes U.S. companies with no mercy and they use these telecom companies to spy and steal from us.”
The news also comes as ZTE may see losses of as much as $3.1 billion (¥20 billion) amid a continuing ban from the U.S. government on American firms supplying components and materials to ZTE. The estimates were reported on Tuesday (May 22) from Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources.