Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp were banned from selling electronics in the US by regulators who say they pose a security risk, continuing a years-long effort to limit the reach of Chinese telecommunications companies into US networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in an order, also named connected-camera providers Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Dahua Technology Co, as well as two-way radio maker Hytera Communications Corp.
“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorised for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications.”
In the 4-0 vote, the FCC concluded the products pose a risk to data security. Past efforts to curb Chinese access include export controls to cut off key, sophisticated equipment and software. Recently US officials have weighed restrictions on TikTok over fears Chinese authorities could access US user data via the video sharing app.
“This is a culminating action,” said Klon Kitchen, a senior fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, a public-policy think tank. “Things that began under Trump are now being carried out. The Biden administration is continuing to turn the screws on these companies because the threat isn’t changing.”
Huawei declined to comment, while Dahua, Hytera and ZTE didn’t respond to emails sent outside normal business hours in China.
The looming FCC move didn’t come up in the bilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Indonesia last week, a US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Biden did discuss technology issues more broadly with Xi and was clear that the US will continue to take action to protect its national security, the official said.
“This is the death knell for all of them for their US operations,” said Conor Healy, director of government research for the Pennsylvania-based surveillance research group IPVM.