…as you use your Android smartphones. Some of them, courtesy of a People’s Republic of China company called Shanghai Adups Technology Co, are infected with malware at the point of manufacture. Phone manufacturers include BLU Products, ZTE, and Huawei; although not all of BLU’s models are infected. ZTE and Huawei both are State-owned, and both of these refused to answer Consumer Reports‘ requests for information.
The problem is that Shanghai Adups, a supplier of Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) update services for smartphones, has inserted code that it wrote for the purpose into these phones’ firmware that
transmit their owners’ personal data to a computer server in China. It’s not clear how the data was being used, though security experts say it could have been accessible by the Chinese government.