Those officials told the Times that China was seeking to use its findings on Trump to help the country in its trade dispute with the U.S. and that the Chinese had noted Trump's conversations with Stephen Schwarzman, head of The Blackstone Group, and Steve Wynn, a Las Vegas figure who established major investments in Macau, a gambling hub in China.
China's plan included targeting and encouraging Trump's associates to persuade the president to formally meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, one official said to The Times.
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying - deputy director of the Chinese foreign ministry's information department - also borrowed one of Trump's favourite phrases to dismiss the findings of yesterday's New York Times report, branding it "fake news".
The comment is perhaps the most masterful troll of the New Cold War era, especially considering the many warnings from the US Congress that Huawei devices aren't secure and that the company is manipulated by the Chinese government.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that US President Donald Trump urged the Spanish government to tackle the Mediterranean migration crisis by building a wall across the Sahara desert. Over the summer, President Trump officially banned all government use of Huawei products. "Story is soooo wrong!" the president wrote.More news: Mattis expected to send 800 more troops to southern border
The Chinese are said to have compiled a list of people to whom Mr Trump often speaks, so that they can try to use them to influence the president.
Unlike the other government-managed phones, Trump uses the unaltered personal iPhone because of its ability to store contacts, The Times reported. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday, the morning after the report came out, President Trump denied the accusation that he uses his personal, unsecured iPhone.
Meanwhile, reports claimed that the Trump administration was preparing to order up to 1,000 US troops to the US-Mexico border to deal with the more than 5,000-strong migrant caravan making its way towards the border.
Less than half-an-hour before he attributed the "Anger we see today in our society" to the "Fake News", Trump railed against the story in the Times.