"Unacceptable risk to national security": The U.S. telecommunications regulator FCC sees a risk of espionage in Huawei and ZTE. The logical step: The US government will henceforth ban the sale and import of Huawei devices. Joe Biden is thus following the line of his predecessor Trump. Other Chinese manufacturers are also affected. However, the measure is not really unexpected.
"Today, the FCC is taking an unprecedented step to protect our networks and strengthen America's national security," FCC Commissioner Brandon Carr wrote on Twitter. As a result of the order, no new devices from Huawei and ZTE will be approved. It is the first "time in FCC history" that approval of new devices has been banned due to security concerns.
Existing approvals to China could also be recalled in the future. Carr calls it the "Huawei loophole" that will now be closed. The U.S. has repeatedly accused Huawei of close ties to Chinese authorities and warned of espionage and sabotage. The company rejects the accusations.
The decision comes as no surprise. U.S. President Joe Biden had last year sealed the exclusion of network technology from Huawei and ZTE from the U.S. market by law, continuing the policy of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump in the economic thriller with China. The law had broad support from both parties at the time.
The FCC now had to vote on the corresponding order within a year so that it can be implemented. Discussions about an exclusion of Huawei and ZTE had already taken place in Europe as well as in the USA for the expansion of 5G.
In addition to Huawei and ZTE, the order also affects devices from Hytera Communications, as well as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology. "Also, new devices from Dahua, Hikvision, or Hytera cannot be approved unless they assure the FCC that their devices will not be used for public safety, government facility security, or other national security purposes," Carr wrote on Twitter following the FCC's official order. Huawei and ZTE have already been hit hard by U.S. sanctions. As recently as October, there had been U.S. lawsuits against 13 Chinese related to secret Huawei papers, among other things.
Photo by Kamil Kot