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US bans Huawei, ZTE amid Chinese spying fears

The US has banned approvals of new telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE because they pose “an unacceptable risk” to national security.

The US Federal Communications Commission said on Friday that it had adopted the final rules, which also bar the sale or import of equipment made by China’s surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology, video surveillance firm Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and telecoms firm Hytera Communications.

The move represents Washington’s latest crackdown on the Chinese tech giants amid fears that Beijing could use Chinese tech companies to spy on Americans.

FCC Chairperson, Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement says that “These new rules are an important part of the US ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications”.

The FCC said in June 2021 it considered banning all equipment authorizations for all companies on the covered list.

That came after a March 2021 designation of five Chinese companies on the so-called “covered list” as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting US communications networks: Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp Hikvision and Dahua.

All four commissioners at the agency, including two Republicans and two Democrats, supported Friday’s move.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu