The new legislation is valid for the granting of licenses for new network equipment, but it also conditions renewals. Huawei and ZTE are the most targeted by the media.
US President Joe Biden has enacted a new and final ban on the use of Chinese technology in that country. The most popular ones are Huawei and ZTE, part of a list that includes other Chinese companies and whose technology had already been considered a threat to the internal security of the United States.
The Secure Equipment Act determines that the country’s communications regulator, the FCC – Federal Communications Commission, can no longer issue licenses for equipment and services from companies on the list of manufacturers with solutions that pose a threat to national security. This list (Covered Equipment or Services List) was presented by the FCC in March and includes five Chinese companies. Huawei and ZTE are the best known.
It should be remembered that, in a previous decision, the use of Huawei or ZTE technology had already been prohibited to companies that take advantage of state funds. Just then, the FCC president criticized the measure, stressing that the problem was not in the way the technology was paid for, but in the technology itself.
The new law is yet another blow to Huawei and ZTE which, in the long run, will have even more painful effects, as the new law restricts the licensing of network equipment and services, not only with regard to new licenses , but also conditions the renewal of licenses. However, the FCC revealed that since 2008 it has received 3,000 licensing requests from Huawei.
The measure also complements an already ongoing program, with an endowment of US$1.9 billion, which financially helps telecommunications companies with Huawei or ZTE technology to replace them with solutions from other manufacturers.
The alleged proximity of Huawei and ZTE to the Chinese Communist Party and suspicions that the technology of companies in critical infrastructure may be an open door to espionage led the United States to place the two companies on a kind of “black list” of partners US commercials.
The first restrictions emerged several years ago, tightened under Trump, and Joe Biden has not changed the policy, which is apparently consensual in all quarters. This new legislative proposal was approved last month with 420 votes in Congress (only four against) and unanimously in the Senate.
The United States is the most assertive country in criticizing Huawei but not the only one. Romania also announced earlier this year the ban on the Chinese company’s technology on the country’s 5G networks. The UK had already done the same.