Re: The only loser is the US consumer..
Sure, let's buy cheap phones so we can be spied upon by a foreign power who would just love us to buy their 'cheap' phones. One good thing that can be said about it is that at least it is not a Russian phone. Who would trust a Russian phone? Why trust a Chinese one totally sourced there?
A post yesterday from the South Chinese Morning Post noted Intellivsion 7MPx cameras installed to do face recognition of jaywalkers and send them text messages while they are jaywalking. If they do it too much, their government 'social score' will be affected.
Just imagine what the Communist Party could order to be put into a phone made there. Oh, you could look at G Data's report a couple years ago about finding malware on phones from Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo. Huawei apparently replied that the security breaches must have occurred further down the supply chain. Sounds similar to what the NSA does to Cisco gear during shipment? You do know that practically every Chinese company has a Communist Party cell embedded deeply within it?
Sure, get a cheap phone. That's a good plan, at least for the ones 'giving' it to you.