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Chinese Mobile App Companies Are a National Security Risk, Says a Top Democrat

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Chinese mobile app companies pose the same national security risk to the US as telecom giants like Huawei and ZTE, Sen. Mark Warner said in an interview. From a report:

Recent US legislation largely banned Huawei and ZTE from use by the government and its contractors , due to concerns about surveillance and other national security risks. Now Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is signaling that Chinese app developers may face similar scrutiny from lawmakers, corporate America, and the intelligence community .

Warner's comments follow a recent BuzzFeed News report that popular apps from China's Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech were exploiting user permissions to engage in a form of ad fraud . Eight Android apps with more than 2 billion total downloads were said to be engaging in a form of app-install ad fraud. Google subsequently removed two of the apps from the Play store and said it continues to investigate. Cheetah and Kika deny engaging in app-install fraud. "Under Chinese law, all Chinese companies are ultimately beholden to the Communist Party, not their board or shareholders, so any Chinese technology company -- whether in telecom or mobile apps -- should be seen as extensions of the state and a national security risk," Warner said in an interview this week with BuzzFeed News .

Further reading: Sen. Warner calls for US cyber doctrine, new standards for security .

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