US President Joe Biden signs law to tighten US restrictions on Huawei, ZTE, Telecom News, ET Telecom

Washington: US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed legislation to prevent companies like Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp, which are considered security threats, from receiving new equipment licenses from US regulators.

The Secure Equipment Act, the US government’s latest effort to clamp down on Chinese telecommunications and technology companies, was unanimously approved by the US Senate on October 28 and earlier in the month by the US House on a vote of 420 to 4.

The signing comes days before Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping hold a virtual summit. Reuters reported that the meeting is due on Monday amid tensions over trade, human rights and military activities.

The new law requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to no longer review or approve any authorization request for equipment that poses an unacceptable risk to national security.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the commission has approved more than 3,000 Huawei claims since 2018. The law “will help ensure that unsecured equipment from companies like Huawei and ZTE can no longer be inserted into American communications networks, ”Carr said.

In March, the FCC identified five Chinese companies as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law to protect U.S. communications networks.

The named companies included previously named Huawei and ZTE, as well as Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

In June, the FCC unanimously voted in favor of a plan to ban equipment approvals in U.S. telecommunications networks from these Chinese companies, even as lawmakers sought to legislate for it. impose.

The FCC vote in June drew opposition from Beijing.

“The United States, without any evidence, is still abusing national security and state power to suppress Chinese companies,” Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in June.

Under the proposed rules that got initial approval in June, the FCC could also revoke previous equipment approvals issued to Chinese companies.

Huawei in June called the proposed FCC overhaul “misguided and needlessly punitive.”

Last month, the FCC voted to revoke the authorization for China Telecom’s US subsidiary to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns.


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Kevin E. Boling