The American telecom watchdog FCC has definitively labeled the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE as a threat to national security. The FCC wants the government to make money available so that providers can replace their equipment.
In November last year the FCC already ruled Huawei and ZTE are a threat to national security, now that has been finalized after the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, part of the FCC, has confirmed that opinion.
Now Huawei and ZTE have been officially identified as a threat for national security, US providers may no longer use money from a support fund to purchase equipment or services from those companies. According to Reuters this is a fund of $ 8.3 billion.
The FCC points out in the announcement that it should be kept in mind that there is already a lot of “unreliable equipment” in networks. The organization wants the US government to make money available to providers to remove and replace that equipment. That would cost about two billion dollars.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai says that Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Communist Party of China and that they must comply with Chinese law, which obliges them to cooperate with Chinese intelligence agencies. The FCC has prepared documents on Huawei and ZTE with substantiation of the opinion.
The US government has long accused Chinese companies such as Huawei of espionage. Those companies deny that. Huawei and ZTE have not yet responded to the FCC’s new verdict.