National Security

FCC Labels Huawei A National Security Threat, Cuts Off Chinese Telecom Giant’s Access To Agency Funds

REUTERS/Mike Blake

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced Tuesday the agency’s decision to designate Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei as a national security threat amid calls for officials to further isolate the firm.

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau’s label bans both Huawei and Chinese giant ZTE Corporation from using the agency’s university service fund, which assists telecommunications companies in purchasing equipment or services. Huawei and ZTE’s parent companies and affiliates were also designated security threats.

“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,” Pai wrote in a press statement. He was referring to the company’s buildout of fifth generation mobile service.

He added: “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.”

Pai highlighted the decision on Twitter Tuesday, telling his followers: “With this decision, we are sending a clear message: the U.S. Government, and this FCC in particular, cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. communications networks.”

The FCC adopted a ban in 2019 on the use of the funds to purchase, obtain, or maintain equipment for companies that pose a threat to the United Staes’ national security. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Admin Moving To Block Huawei’s Supply Of Computer Chips)

The commission proposed at the time that Huawei and ZTE should be covered under the new rule because of their affiliation with the CCP, along with their compliance with Beijing’s laws requiring them to assist in espionage efforts, according to the FCC’s Tuesday press statement.

FCC’s decision comes less than a week after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in an interview with the BBC that Huawei engaged in espionage.

Schmidt told the BBC that Huawei behaves like a “signal intelligence” entity, a reference to intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) that send data to governments.

Huawei staff reportedly worked with China’s Ministry of State Security and collaborated with the People’s Liberation Army on defense initiatives. The Trump administration has taken steps to block Huawei from accessing U.S.-made technologies such as computer chips and semiconductors.

Huawei has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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