US Federal Communications Commission set to ban approvals of new Huawei and ZTE gear

WASHINGTON: The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to ban approvals of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies in China and ZTE in the United States for national security reasons, according to a published document. by the agency.

FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel last week circulated the proposed ban to the other three commissioners for final approval. Companies could not sell new equipment in the United States without equipment authorizations.

In June 2021, the FCC voted to advance the plan to ban equipment approvals in U.S. telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats, including Huawei and ZTE.

This follows the March 2021 designation of five Chinese companies on the so-called “covered list” as posing a national security threat under a 2019 law to protect US communications networks: Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Zhejiang Dahua Technology.

The FCC said in June 2021 that it was considering banning all equipment authorizations for all companies on the covered list.

This year, the FCC added Russian AO Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom (Americas), China Mobile International USA, Pacific Networks, and China Unicom (Americas) to the covered list.

Rosenworcel said last year that the new measures “would exclude unreliable equipment from (US) communications networks.

“We have left open opportunities for use (of Huawei and other Chinese equipment) in the United States through our equipment authorization process, so we are here proposing to close that door,” she said. .

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in 2021 that the FCC had approved more than 3,000 applications from Huawei since 2018.

The FCC’s action would ban all future approvals for communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security.

In 2019, the United States placed Huawei, Hikvision and other companies on its economic blacklist.

Also in 2020, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as threats to the national security of communications networks – a statement that barred US companies from tapping into an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment. to businesses.

Earlier this year, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said the FCC “abused state power and again maliciously attacked Chinese telecom operators without a factual basis.”

Aurora J. William