U.S. designates Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE as national security threats

The decision prohibits U.S. companies from drawing on an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase these Chinese firms’ equipment or services.

UNITED STATES (Agencies) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday formally designated Chinese companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp as “threats to national security”.

The decision prohibits U.S. companies from drawing on an $8.3 billion government fund to “purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify or otherwise support any equipment or services produced or provided” by these Chinese firms.

The Commission voted in favor of this measure in November and proposed that rural operators remove and replace Huawei and ZTE equipment from existing U.S. networks.

The U.S. telecommunications regulator voted in November 5-0 to issue the declaration and proposed requiring rural carriers to remove and replace equipment from the two Chinese companies from existing U.S. networks. “We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement 

Huawei’s confrontation with Washington
Huawei is immersed in a confrontation with Washington, which accuses the company of spying for the Chinese government through its devices, something the company denies.

In May of last year, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, signed an executive order prohibiting the use of telecommunications equipment manufactured by companies considered a threat to the national security of the United States.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has also put pressure on its allies in Europe to close the doors of their national 5G networks to Chinese companies. However, operators in European countries, such as Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Switzerland, have already expressed their interest in the Chinese technology.