US to Ban All Huawei and ZTE Devices Over National Security Fears

US to Ban All Huawei and ZTE Devices Over National Security Fears

The US’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to ban all sales of new Huawei and ZTE telecoms devices, as well as video surveillance equipment from three other Chinese firms, over fears about national security.

While Huawei and ZTE have been in limbo for some time in the US, with the Trump administration prohibiting the companies from using Google’s Play Store and Android operating system, the new move is the first time that the FCC has banned electronics equipment on national security grounds.

On 5 October, FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a draft order among her fellow commissioners. The order, seen by Axios and confirmed by two sources with “direct knowledge,” still needs to be voted on but would effectively ban new equipment sales in the U.S. from firms that pose a threat to national security.

The order would close the circle on Huawei and ZTE products in the US, as well as being banned from using Google services, the FCC previously prohibited companies from using federal funding to purchase equipment from these firms. This new ruling would extend to all purchases.

However, the ruling is not retroactive – allowing Huawei and ZTE to continue to sell previously approved products in the US. The order will also determine the scope of a ban on sales of video surveillance equipment used for public safety. This would affect the Chinese companies Hytera Communications Corporation, Hikvision, and Dahua Technology Company, according to Axios’ sources.

“Hikvision presents no security threat to the United States,” a Hikvision spokesperson told Axios in a statement.

“There is no technical or legal justification for why Hikvision should be impacted by the forthcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.”

Huawei and ZTE have not commented on the story.

Closer to home, Australia banned Huawei and ZTE from our 5G network infrastructure in 2018. While the companies’ phones are not banned in over here, sales have become almost non-existent.




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