A representative for China’s Foreign Ministry says a report in The New York Times about the country possibly eavesdropping on President Donald Trump’s personal iPhone is “fake news.” Spokesperson Hua Chunying does, however, have some advice for the leader of the free world: Switch to a Huawei phone.
Hey, for a company like Huawei that loves celebrity endorsers, Trump would be one hell of a catch!
The so-called experts on Trump over at the New York Times wrote a long and boring article on my cellphone usage that is so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it. I only use Government Phones, and have only one seldom used government cell phone. Story is soooo wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
iPhone vs. Huawei: The presidential handset
The article Chunying is responding to is a recent New York Times story. It claimed that Russia and China could be eavesdropping on Trump’s personal iPhone. This is because he supposedly prefers it to his National Security Agency-approved device. China could reportedly use this information to gain insights that would affect the burgeoning trade war between itself and the United States.
The U.S. (along with Australia) previously barred Huawei from supplying technology to its government, due to the country’s alleged security and privacy risks. Huawei has denied that its devices are compromised in this way.
The flip side of this is true in China as well. In 2015, Apple was booted off a list of approved government purchases in China. This may have been less to do with security risks than an attempt to support local companies, though. Apple has additionally been forced to accept the Chinese government’s demands that it run network safety evaluations on all products before they can be imported.
To be clear: There is zero chance that Trump switches to a Huawei phone anytime soon. Still, between this and the company’s mischievous stunt on iPhone XS launch day, you’ve got to respect the chutzpah of trying. Or, in this case, of getting your friends in government to try.
Trump has denied that the New York Times article is correct.