The US war on Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE continues. The latest move comes from the Federal Communications Commission, which has designated the two companies as national security threats.

As a result, US telecommunications companies will be prohibited from using some federal funding to buy equipment from Huawei or ZTE.

Specifically, the FCC provides $8.3 billion in “Universal Service Fund” money to telecom companies in the US to help subsidize purchases of networking equipment. The national security designation means that those companies can not use that money to: “purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support any equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers.”

According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the designation comes because “both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus” and are “broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services.”

In other words, the FCC and some other US government agencies are worried that allowing US companies to install Huawei and ZTE equipment for use in cellular network infrastructure would open a door for Chinese government spying.

Theoretically the rule doesn’t prohibit companies from using non-Universal Service Fund money to buy equipment from Huawei or ZTE. But given the pressure from Washington DC, it probably wouldn’t be a wise investment these days.

As FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks notes, while the national security threat designation may help limit the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment moving forward, it doesn’t do much to encourage wireless carriers who have already installed Huawei and ZTE equipment to transition to other products.

via TechCrunch

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16,211 other subscribers

One reply on “FCC designates Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE as national security threats”

Comments are closed.