| WASHINGTON, Sept 13
WASHINGTON, Sept 13 DLA Piper, a global law firm
noted for high-profile attorneys, should rethink its work for
China's ZTE Corp, two Republican members of the U.S.
House of Representatives urged.
Representatives Sue Myrick of North Carolina and Frank Wolf
of Virginia, staunch critics of China's human-rights record,
sent the request to DLA Piper on Thursday.
It was timed to mark a rare open hearing of the House
Intelligence Committee, which is investigating security threats
allegedly posed to U.S. telecommunications networks by products
marketed by ZTE and China's closely held Huawei Technologies Co
Shenzhen-headquartered ZTE is in the world's fifth-biggest
telecommunications equipment maker. Huawei, also based in
Shenzhen, is the second-biggest after Sweden's Ericsson
The letter faulted DLA Piper for helping ZTE "as it attempts
to circumvent U.S. government concerns" to gain a larger share
of the U.S. market.
"By publicly representing and advising the ZTE Corporation,
your firm is indicating it values the retainer of one contract
over the legitimate cyber security and supply chain concerns of
the United States government," the lawmakers wrote.
Their letter was addressed to Frank Conner, managing partner
of the firm's Washington office, and Richard Newcomb, a partner
who is chair of the firm's International Trade practice group.
Newcomb served as director of the U.S. Treasury Department's
Office of Foreign Assets Control from 1987 to 2004.
DLA Piper attorneys did not respond to a request for a
comment. ZTE, which is publicly traded, has denied allegations
that it is in some way subject to control by the Chinese
The lawmakers' letter also cited Commerce Department and FBI
investigations following reports by Reuters that ZTE had
supplied Iran's largest telecommunications company with a
powerful surveillance system as well as embargoed U.S. computer
equipment. Sales of the equipment to Iran are banned under U.S.
sanctions aimed at deterring Iran from developing nuclear
ZTE allegedly sought to provide the Telecommunications
Company of Iran, an Iranian government-controlled entity, with
surveillance technologies that would give it the ability to
monitor mobile, landline and Internet communications, they
wrote, citing a Reuters report in March.
An FBI affidavit, mistakenly released and published in part
online, cited alleged discussions among ZTE employees in China
about whether to try to cover up shipments to Iran of the
embargoed U.S-origin hardware and software cited in Reuters