What you need to know
- The FCC voted to remove Huawei equipment from U.S. carriers.
- The unanimous vote comes just after the UK put its plan in motion to phase out Huawei's equipment from its telecoms.
- China Telecom is also under scrutiny, as the U.S. questions its American business presence.
The FCC on Wednesday unanimously voted to remove Huawei's equipment from U.S. networks, putting yet another nail in Huawei's coffin. The company has been in an endless battle with the U.S., making it impossible for it to conduct business with American companies and greatly limiting Huawei's ability to produce chips found in its best smartphones. The FCC cites security concerns as the main reason for the decision.
The record on this is clear. The Chinese government intends to surveil persons within our borders, for government security, for spying advantage, as well as for intellectual property and an industrial or business edge.
China has deemed the move an oppressive abuse of power. In a statement made Friday by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, she states that the U.S. "should stop stretching the concept of national security, stop suppressing Chinese specific companies and provide a fair, just and nondiscriminatory environment for companies operating there."
The U.S. will spend around $1.6 billion to help carriers with the cost of replacing the equipment with other accepted hardware, a move that is more likely to affect smaller carriers in rural areas. This comes just after the UK laid out a similar plan to subsidize the cost to remove Huawei's equipment from its own networks.
In addition to the vote against Huawei, the FCC is also mulling over how to proceed with China Telecom's American division. China Telecom is one of three major carriers in China, another being China Mobile which was barred last year from the United States. Its American division, on the other hand, maintains that it is an independent contractor that is not controlled by China's government, as it's believed by U.S. regulators.