Huawei and ZTE have been designated as national security threats by the FCC

Huawei logo
Huawei logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The FCC has now designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats.
  • This move prevents telecoms providers from using federal funds when purchasing equipment from either of the two.
  • FCC Chair Ajit Pai pointed to close ties with the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinse military when explaining the body's decision.

Huawei and ZTE have now been designated as national security threats by the FCC in a move that will be perceived as an escalation in the trade conflicts between the U.S. and China. This designation bars all U.S. telecoms providers from using the FCC's Universal Service Fund to spend on any equipment purchased from either company, whether it relates to procurement or repairs.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said:

With today's Orders, and based on the overwhelming weight of evidence, the Bureau has designated Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to America's communications networks—and to our 5G future. Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China's military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country's intelligence services.The Bureau also took into account the findings and actions of Congress, the Executive Branch, the intelligence community, our allies, and communications service providers in other countries. We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure. Today's action will also protect the FCC's Universal Service Fund—money that comes from fees paid by American consumers and businesses on their phone bill from being used to underwrite these suppliers, which threaten our national security.

Both ZTE and Huawei have been targets of the U.S. over the past few years. Huawei especially has seen trade bars decimate its smartphone business, once willing partners begin to back away on 5G, and the development of a fog of criminality over the company.

Both Huawei and ZTE have maintained their innocence throughout.

An international trade lawyer explains just how far reaching the Huawei ban really is

Michael Allison
  • Wow I wonder if it will change if trump dose not get in again.
  • Is this within the FCCs remit?
  • The biggest threat to our "national security" is the orange homunculus occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Two of the best phones I ever owned were from both of these companies.
  • Certainly, Huawei is not popular in Canada. In retaliation for continuing with extradition hearings that would hand over the Huawei CEO to the Americans, China has held two Canadian political prisoners for over a year. Mobile carrier Telus will not use Huawei 5G gear, but it's disgusting the federal government under Trudeau refuses to have an outright ban of Huawei 5G tech... He's dragged his feet with 'studies." Banning Huawei is a no brainer.
  • You think banning Huawei would be a no brainer. It's not that easy for Trudeau /Canada to outright ban them without some repercussions coming from China. I don't like Trudeau but I understand the tough delicate situation he is in. Canada depends alot from China buying agricultural products from it's farners. We all know how China likes to retaliate when it doesn't get its way or wants to make a point. Just like the point they made out of no where when they revoked the sales licence for a major Canadian canola distributer claiming there was some contamination or something. Canada doesn't not have the power or influence compared to a country like the U.S who has one if not the biggest economies in the world. Just California's economy is bigger than Canada's lol. The fact that the telecom companies are making their own decision not to go with Huawei (best decision) puts less pressure on the Canadian government doing so for the time being without some retaliation coming from China bec they banned Huawei from their networks. Look how China is reacting around the world just with Australia and India. Australia wanted an independent enquiry into how the coronavirus started and India along with others backed it. Australia and China now having trade disputes and India is having disputes with it's border with China.
  • The canola issue had nothing to do with Canada. China culled tens of thousands of pigs due to a virus, and slapped the ban on canola just because... The truth is there was no demand for the canola due to the pigs. Canada simply has to walk in line with the rest of five eyes and ban Huawei. It's a no brainer for Trudeau, who is despised in Canada already for his gun ban and other simmering contraversies... Like debt, Quebec favouritism in the context of equilization, etc.... And now handing of admin of a $900 million student volunteer program to a charity he is linked to. Trudeau is on his way out of office. I do agree he was right not to do a prisoner swap with China, or influence the courts on the Huawei extradition matter. Huawei is embedded with a couple of universities here for research in Tech, but so be it... That should end anyways.
  • I have loved all of my Huawei devices. Currently, I have the Mate 20X and love it. But, after watching a Frontline documentary about the human rights violations the Chinese government exerts on some of its citizens, I just can't support the company anymore. It's really bad over there.
  • Huawei IS the Chinese gov't, who are compelled to spy for China.
  • I have the P30 Pro, an excellent phone but with all the evidence that is emerging about Huawei and the communist government of China, it will be my last. In fact, I won't buy a Chinese phone by any brand anymore. China and their businesses should be banned completely if you ask me. But most countries continue to do business with them, and in regard to that, I can't understand why American Airlines has sold a big portion of their fleet to a Chinese investor and leased them back. You can see China's true intentions in Hong Kong and the Islamic minority Uyghurs, who are being sent to re-socialisation camps and women getting sterilized. I don't agree a lot with Donald Trump, but as far as China is concerned he is spot on.
  • all these evidences like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Libea an evil empire and ISIS etc
  • Ignorance and xenophobia are always related!