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TCL faces accusations of spying through its TVs in the US

TCL is increasingly well-known in the US. (Source: TCL)
TCL is increasingly well-known in the US. (Source: TCL)
The display-maker TCL is now the focus of allegations that it has included "backdoor" software in TVs intended for the American market. These suspicions allegedly come from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Then again, the OEM denies the claims, and that the administration in question has yet to bring these accusations to it directly.

TCL is an increasingly popular name in big screens, although it also makes phones and the odd advancement in flexible-display concept devices. It is most often associated with its native Chinese market, although it has recently broken into the US with its Roku and Android TVs. In fact, the same country is now its second-biggest market.

However, it seems this success might now be under threat, with new reports in the media alleging that the OEM has "planted backdoors" in the large-form units destined for its American sales partners (which include Best Buy). TCL denies these claims, however.

It also asserts that it adheres to all applicable laws, standards, requirements and guidelines in distributing TVs throughout the US, and that the only software installed on the relevant products come from its OS partners (e.g. Google).

TCL's suppliers include the Chinese firms HKC and China Electronics Panda Crystal Technology, as well as   Innolux and AU Optronics, which are Taiwanese businesses. However, it also has a panel source of its own in TCL-CSOT.

As with many companies in similar industries, TCL has seen TV sales skyrocket in 2020, with third-quarter sales that increased 49.7% year-on-year. Its sales in the same year as a whole so far grew by 14.4% compared to the first 3 quarters of 2019.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > TCL faces accusations of spying through its TVs in the US
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-12-28 (Update: 2020-12-28)