The U.S. federal government is doubling down on trust concerns around Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially labeled Huawei and ZTE as national security risks.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explained the decision:
"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."
What does the new designation mean for the FCC? Broadly, it means that "money in FCC's Universal Service Fund can no longer be used on equipment and services" from Huawei or ZTE, according to the notice.
The decision is an extension on a previous ban on these devices from November 2019.
Now, the FCC is kicking it up a notch by officially labeling these companies as untrustworthy threats.
The announcement gives three primary reasons for the change:
- Substantial ties between these companies and the Chinese government.
- Chinese law requiring these companies to assist in espionage activities, known cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities in their equipment.
- Ongoing Congressional and Executive Branch concern about this equipment.
Curious about the specific details of the new designation? Check out the complete FCC documents here.