Technology

US: Regulator plans to ban sales of new Huawei and ZTE products

In March 2021, the FCC blacklisted Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology as companies that pose an “unacceptable risk” to US national security. (Photo: 123RF)

NEW YORK — The US Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (FCC) is considering a ban on the sale of new devices sold in the US by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, according to information from the Axios website Thursday.

The ban will also affect certain video surveillance equipment from Chinese groups Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology.

According to Axios, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworth circulated a draft executive order in early October proposing to ban companies that pose a threat to US national security from selling new products in the US.

This text, if adopted, will only apply to newly sold devices. Products previously approved by the FCC will continue to be approved.

In response to a question from AFP, the FCC confirmed that the circular would be put to a vote, stating that its contents would be made public if the draft was passed by the committee.

“The FCC remains committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that the use of untrusted communications equipment is not permitted within our borders, and we continue to do so,” Ms. Rosenworsel.

Like his predecessor, Donald Trump, the Biden administration has taken a tough stance against Chinese telecommunications equipment makers suspected of spying for Beijing.

In May 2020, the Trump administration required Huawei’s subcontractors to request permission to use US components, effectively blocking shipments to the hardware maker of products made by US-based companies.

The decision hurt the group’s operations, especially for smartphones, where Huawei lost market share.

The FCC then blacklisted Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology in March 2021 as companies that pose an “unacceptable risk” to US national security.

Also in June 2021, the agency said it supported a proposed licensing ban on Chinese telecommunications equipment companies.

“Despite identifying security issues with Huawei and ZTE telecom equipment back in 2019, the agency has continued to issue permits for such equipment in recent years,” Rosenworsel said at the time.

“In other words, we’ve kept them open in the United States through our hardware authorization process. Now we propose to close this door,” she added.

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