Banned: Huawei and ZTE telecommunications ‘threat’ to national security, says US

Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp., Hikvision, and Dahua have made it to the list.
Baba Tamim
Representational image: A logo of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications equipment company.
Representational image: A logo of Huawei, Chinese telecommunications equipment company.

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United States has prohibited selling and importing new Huawei and ZTE telecommunications devices due to "national security concerns."

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new regulations that forbade the sale and import of new Huawei and ZTE, according to the documents released by the agency on Friday. 

"Today, the FCC takes an unprecedented step to safeguard our networks and strengthen America's national security," said Brendan Carr, Commissioner, FCC. 

"Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to prohibit the authorization of new equipment based on national security concerns."

The move also forbids the sale or import of products made by Chinese telecom company Hytera Communications Corp. Ltd., video surveillance company Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. (002415. S.Z.), and surveillance equipment manufacturer Dahua Technology Co. (002583. S.Z.).

"I called for the FCC to take this action in 2021 as a necessary means of closing the 'Huawei loophole'—a problem where insecure gear could continue to be approved for use in the U.S. by the FCC despite the threat posed to our national security," Carr said in a thread of Tweets

"As a result of our order, no new Huawei or ZTE equipment can be approved. And no new Dahua, Hikvision, or Hytera gear can be approved unless they assure the FCC that their gear won't be used for public safety, security of government facilities, & other national security purposes," he added. 

U.S. not at risk - Hikvision

Huawei, ZTE, Dahua, Hytera, and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the media.

Hikvision, a leading provider of cutting-edge IoT solutions and video security systems, declared in a statement that America is not at risk from its goods.

"This decision by the FCC will do nothing to protect U.S. national security, but will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for U.S. small businesses, local authorities, school districts, and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses and property," said Hikvision. 

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Adding that, it will continue to serve U.S. customers "in full compliance" with U.S. regulations.

The new rules 

Following the March 2021 designation of five Chinese firms on the infamous "covered list" as constituting a threat to national security under a 2019 law intended to safeguard U.S. communications networks, firms; Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp., Hikvision, and Dahua.

In June 2021, the FCC declared that it was thinking of outlawing all equipment authorizations for all businesses on the covered list.

"These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications," FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

Last month, Rosenworcel circulated the proposed rule to the other three commissioners for final approval. This rule effectively prevents companies from selling new equipment in the U.S.

The decision on Friday was supported by all four agency commissioners, including two Republicans and two Democrats.

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