U.S. House Intelligence panel head blackballs China's Huawei

* US companies warned to steer clear for fear of spying

* Panel to release report on Huawei and ZTE Corp Monday

* Chinese companies reject spying allegations

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. companies should avoiddoing business with China's Huawei, the world's No. 2 maker oftelecommunications gear, for fear its equipment could open doorsfor spying, the head of the U.S. House of Representatives'Intelligence Committee said.

"If I were an American company today ... and you are lookingat Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about yourintellectual property; if you care about your consumers' privacyand you care about the national security of the United States ofAmerica," Chairman Mike Rogers said.

The Michigan Republican, a former FBI special agent, madehis comments to the CBS television program 60 Minutes to bebroadcast on Sunday. Excerpts provided by the program Friday didnot spell out any evidence to back up Rogers' concerns.

On Monday, the Intelligence panel will release the findingsof a nearly year-long investigation of the alleged securityrisk, both from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and China'sZTE Corp .

ZTE is also a Shenzhen, China-based telecommunications gearmaker, the world's fifth-ranking. The excerpts released by 60Minutes did not include specific references to ZTE. It was notimmediately clear whether Rogers and the committee wereblackballing ZTE as well.

"One of the main reasons we are having this investigation isto educate the citizens in business ... in thetelecommunications world," Representative C.A. Ruppersberger ofMaryland, the panel's top Democrat, told the program.

The committee believes allowing Huawei to build and maintainlarge swaths of America's telecommunications infrastructureopens a door for the Chinese government to spy on the U.S.government and engage in industrial espionage, 60 Minutes said.

Huawei said in response that it was "globally trusted andrespected," doing business in almost 150 markets with more than500 operator customers, including nationwide carriers acrossevery continent except Antarctica.

"The security and integrity of our products are worldproven," William Plummer, a company spokesman in Washington,said in an email. "Those are the facts today. Those will be thefacts next week, political agendas aside."

The efforts of Huawei and ZTE in the United States have beenstymied by U.S. concerns over allegedly mounting Chineseeconomic espionage, especially in cyberspace.

Huawei has marketed its network equipment in the UnitedStates since last year and has sold to a range of small- tomedium-sized carriers nationwide, particularly in ruralareas. It has marketed mobile phones through a broader range ofU.S. carriers, for the last four years.

Both Huawei and ZTE have rejected charges that theirexpansion in the United States poses a security risk and arguethey operate independently of the Chinese authorities.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

((jim.wolf@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 202 898 8402))