FCC designates Huawei and ZTE as risks to national security

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The Federal Communications Commission has officially designated telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE as threats to national security.

On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement: “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. 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.”

By designating Huawei and ZTE as threats to US national security, the FCC bars telecommunications providers from using government subsidy money through the $8.3 billion Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment from the companies for their networks.

The FCC voted unanimously to block telecoms from using federal funds to purchase equipment from Huawei last November, but the final order went into effect Tuesday.