ZTE bulks up lobbying forces in Washington

ZTE has fought back hard against the charges, and is turning to the influence industry for help as it tries to assuage the concerns raised by lawmakers in the report.

DLA Piper and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide registered to lobby on behalf of ZTE on "maintaining open and transparent markets in U.S./China relations," according to recently filed lobbying disclosure forms.

In addition, GOP heavyweight Tom Korologos and his firm TCK International have been subcontracted through DLA Piper to represent ZTE.

Former Rep. Jon Christensen (R-Neb.) has lobbied for ZTE this year as well.

ZTE and Huawei, another Chinese telecommunications company, are battling charges that they could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the United States. Following a yearlong probe into the two companies, the House Intelligence Committee said ZTE and Huawei also failed to allay suspicions that the Chinese government could use their telecommunications equipment to threaten America’s critical infrastructure.

Zhu Jinyun, senior vice president of ZTE's North America and Europe operations, told committee members during a hearing that claims made about ZTE's telecom equipment creating backdoors for espionage are manufactured and "not fact-based."

ZTE could not be reached for comment on the recent lobbying registrations.

— Megan R. Wilson contributed