February 7, 2023

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US bans Huawei and ZTE device sales citing national security risk By Reuters

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©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person stands next to a sign of Huawei during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo 2/2

By Diane Bartz and Alexandra Alper

(Reuters) – The Biden government has banned the approval of new telecoms equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE (HK:) because they pose an “unacceptable risk” to US national security.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced on Friday that it has passed final rules that also ban the sale or import of equipment from Chinese surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology Co, video surveillance company Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd and telecom company Hytera Communications Corp Ltd.

The move represents Washington’s latest crackdown on the Chinese tech giants amid fears Beijing could use them to spy on Americans.

“These new rules are an important part of our ongoing efforts to protect the American people from telecommunications-related national security threats,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

Huawei declined to comment. ZTE, Dahua, Hytera and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hikvision said in a statement that its products do not threaten US security.

“This FCC decision will do nothing to protect U.S. national security, but do much to make it more harmful and expensive for U.S. small businesses, local government, school districts and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses and real estate.” , Hikvision said, adding that it will continue to serve US customers “in full compliance” with US regulations.

Rosenworcel circulated the proposed measure, which would effectively bar the companies from selling new equipment in the United States, to the other three commissioners last month for final approval.

The FCC said in June 2021 it was considering banning all device approvals for all companies on the covered list.

This comes after five Chinese companies on the so-called “covered list” were identified as a national security threat under a 2019 law protecting US communications networks in March 2021: Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp Hikvision and Dahua.

All four of the agency’s commissioners, including two Republicans and two Democrats, backed Friday’s move. The agency said it had the power to revoke prior permits, but declined to do so.