BEIJING - Beijing on Monday condemned Washington over reports that the US National Security Agency had for years had been secretly tapping the networks of Chinese telecoms and Internet giant Huawei.
The New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel said that the NSA had accessed Huawei's email archive, communications between top company officials, and even the secret source code of some of its products.
The reports were based on documents provided by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Beijing is "seriously concerned" about reports that the US had compromised Huawei's networks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing on Monday.
"China has launched representations to America on many occasions," Hong said, citing reports of US surveillance activities in countries across the globe. "We ask America to give a clear explanation and stop such behaviour."
Beijing itself has repeatedly been accused of large-scale cyber-espionage, which it vehemently denies.
The Chinese reprimand came after a top Huawei official similarly denounced the NSA.
"If the actions in the report are true, Huawei condemns such activities that invaded and infiltrated into our internal corporate network and monitored our communications," Roland Sladek, Huawei's vice president for international affairs, said in a statement.
He added that Huawei "disagrees with all activities that threaten the security of networks" and stressed the company's willingness to "jointly address the global challenge of network security".