BEIJING — A Chinese government spokesman has sidestepped questions about a report that its spies inserted chips into computer equipment that might allow them to hack into U.S. companies and government agencies.

The spokesman, Lu Kang, responded to questions Monday from reporters by directing them to statements by the equipment supplier and customers including Apple and Amazon. Those companies denied any knowledge the equipment had been altered.

Lu said, "Do you feel that you still need China to respond to these statements?"

Bloomberg News cited unidentified U.S. officials as saying malicious chips were inserted into equipment supplied by Super Micro Computer Inc. to American companies and government agencies.

Bloomberg said the components included code that caused the products to accept changes to their software and to connect to outside computers.