The ongoing battle between the US and Huawei has taken another serious turn after the latter was officially declared a threat to national security by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Both Huawei and compatriot ZTE have been labelled as threatening entities by the FCC, meaning both companies are now essentially blocked from doing business with US operators and playing any role in the rollout of current or future 5G networks.
The FCC ruling means US telecom companies and operators are now blocked from accessing the government's $8.3bn Universal Service Fund to purchase Huawei or ZTE equipment for their networks.
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“With today’s Orders, and based on the overwhelming weight of evidence, the Bureau has designated Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to America’s communications networks — and to our 5G future,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
“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.”
Neither Huawei nor ZTE has responded to the ruling yet, but TechRadar Pro has reached out for comment.
The US has long maintained that Huawei is linked to the Chinese government and that its equipment represents a threat to national security, despite never producing any evidence to support its claims.
The news comes shortly after telecoms operators in the UK were urged to stockpile Huawei networking equipment amid concerns that supply could be impacted by US sanctions.
Huawei has also persistently denied any suggestion of wrongdoing, and recently launched a media campaign that looked to dispel myths about the company and to promote its ability to deliver 5G.
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Via The Verge (opens in new tab)