US bans Chinese telecom devices, citing 'national security'

US bans Chinese telecom devices, citing ‘national security’

The US Federal Communications Commission’s decision includes devices from Huawei, ZTE and other manufacturers.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is banning telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from major Chinese brands, including Huawei and ZTE, citing an “unacceptable risk to national security”.

The five-member FCC said Friday it voted unanimously to pass new rules that will block the import or sale of the targeted products.

“Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to ban the authorization of communications and electronic equipment based on national security considerations,” FCC Commissioner Brendan said Friday. Carr, in a statement.

He added that the move had “broad bipartisan support” among U.S. congressional leaders.

US security officials have warned that equipment from Chinese brands such as Huawei could be used to interfere with fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks and collect sensitive information.

The ban is the latest step in years to “keep America’s networks safe” by identifying and banning devices deemed security threats, the FCC said.

Friday’s move also includes a ban on Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company.

Huawei declined to provide comment to Reuters news agency. ZTE, Dahua, Hikvision and Hytera did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei and the Chinese government have long denied spying allegations and denounced US sanctions against Chinese technologies.

But in 2019, then-U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the Secure and Reliable Communications Networks Act, which established criteria to identify communications services that Washington deems may pose a national security risk. .

Services designated as threats under this law were then subject to the Secure Equipment Act of 2021, signed by President Joe Biden.

This act laid the groundwork for Friday’s announcement. He ordered the FCC to “enact rules specifying that it will no longer review or issue new equipment licenses” to these companies.

At the time, Florida Senator Marco Rubio praised Biden’s decision.

“The Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to exploit our laws and undermine our national security,” he said in a statement. “This legislation fixes a dangerous loophole in our law, limiting their efforts to sneak into our telecommunications networks.”

One of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment makers, Huawei has had a difficult relationship with the United States and its allies, facing some of the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a single company in the United States.

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has been arrested and detained for nearly three years in Canada following allegations by the US Department of Justice that she attempted to violate sanctions by trying to do business with Huawei. ‘Iran.

She was charged with bank and wire fraud and faced US extradition proceedings in a Canadian court, sparking a diplomatic crisis between Canada, the United States and China. Meng was released and returned to China in 2021.

Earlier this year, Canada joined the United States in banning Huawei from 5G wireless networks.

Another FCC commissioner, Geoffrey Starks, described Friday’s ban as a preventative measure that would pay dividends in the future.

“By preventing equipment identified as a threat to the United States from entering our markets, we significantly reduce the risk that it could be used against us,” Starks said in a statement. “We are also reducing the possibility that we will have to destroy and replace this equipment in the future. Ultimately, if it can’t be authorized, it can’t be deployed. »

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