US bans sale and import of new communications equipment from five Chinese companies

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On Friday, the US established final regulations that ban the sale or import of technology that is thought to threaten American national security.

Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in statement: “The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorised for use within our borders.”

The Commission adopted the final regulations on Friday, as the latest crackdown on the Chinese tech giants. “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” Rosenworcel said.

The ban targets five Chinese companies: Huawei and ZTE, that have previously been subject to similar restrictions, as well as Dahua and Hikvision, video surveillance equipment suppliers and Hytera, which specialises in radio equipment.

Hikvision is currently the only company to comment on the decision: “This decision by the FCC will do nothing to protect US national security, but will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for US small businesses, local authorities, school districts and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses and property.”

The Obama administration was the first to take steps to restrict Chinese telecom companies’ access to the US market. The restrictions increased under Donald Trump and now, President Joe Biden has taken a tough stance on Chinese telecom companies allegedly spying for Beijing, posing “an unacceptable risk” to national security.

The new rules were unanimously voted by all four FCC commissioners, two Republicans and two Democrats, on Friday. Although FCC claimed to have the power to revoke prior authorisations, declined to do so.

Source: theguardian.com