Half a dozen Chinese telecom companies banned from the United States. Suspected of posing a threat to national security, the equipment manufacturers and service providers targeted, Friday, November 25, by a decree from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are prohibited from selling any new product on American soil.
No marketing authorization will now be issued to the firms concerned, including Huawei and ZTE, already subject to equivalent rules in the past, as well as Dahua and Hikvision, which supply video surveillance equipment, and Hytera, which specializes in radio equipment. Products already authorized by the US telecoms regulator will continue to be so.
“These new rules represent an important part of the actions put in place to protect the American people against threats to national security involving telecommunications equipment”, FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel was quoted in a statement as saying. The regulator is also considering re-examining the authorizations already granted as well as the procedures for reviewing the bans announced.
In line with that of its predecessor, the administration of Joe Biden has adopted a firm line towards Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturers, suspected of spying for the benefit of Beijing.
“Unacceptable risk” to safety
In May 2020, the administration of Donald Trump had imposed on Huawei’s subcontractors to request authorization to use American components, effectively blocking the supply to the equipment manufacturer of products manufactured by companies established in the United States. The decision had penalized the group’s activity, particularly in the smartphone sector where Huawei has almost disappeared from the market.
The FCC then placed Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology on a blacklist of companies in March 2021. “unacceptable risk” for the national security of the United States. The same year, in June, the agency said it was in favor of a plan to ban authorizations granted to Chinese telecommunications equipment companies.
“Despite identifying security issues with Huawei and ZTE telecommunications equipment as early as 2019, this agency has continued in recent years to grant approval to such equipment.said Mr.me Rosenworcel. In other words, we left open opportunities for their use in the United States through our equipment authorization process. We now propose to close this door. »
This ban had raised concerns among small telecom operators who are the only ones to use Huawei and ZTE equipment in their network. In September 2020, the FCC estimated that replacing this equipment would cost them more than $1.8 billion.
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