Posted on November 29, 2022 at 11:15 AM
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has prohibited the sale of equipment from Chinese telecommunications and video surveillance vendors ZTE, Huawei, Dahua due, and Hikvision. The commission explained that the decision was due to “unacceptable risks to national security.
The press release noted that the new rules adopted by the NCC were to stop unacceptable risks from being authorized for sale or importation in the United States.
According to Chairwoman J. Rosenworcel, the new rules are an important part of the commission’s ongoing actions to offer more protection to the American people from the threat to national security as it concerns communications. Not only does the ban cover the parent companies, but it also covers its subsidiaries and affiliates as well.
The rule also prevents the authorization of equipment via the commission’s certification process. It clarifies that such type of equipment will not be authorized, marketed, or imported under the rules that allow exemptions from an equipment authority. It also prohibits the authorization under the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity process.
Huawei Has Been Accused Of Placing Backdoors In Their Products
The U.S. accused has initially accused Huawei of stealing research and development data, as well as stealing intellectual property. The telecommunication hardware vendor was also accused of placing backdoors in their products, which would potentially allow the Beijing government to carry out espionage operations.
Telecommunications technology from both ZTE and Huawei (5G in particular) have been banned over the past years in several countries, including New Zealand, the U.K., Canada, the U.S., Japan, India, Romania, Canada, and Australia.
Some members of the European Union have expressed worries about security threats from technology provided by ZTE and Huawei. The two companies were eventually excluded from bidding on several projects.
The U.S. Department of Commerce added surveillance camera manufacturer Dahua to its “Entity List” in October 2019. However, its equipment sales to private American companies and consumers were not banned.
In March last year, the FCC ruled that the five companies now banned from operations in the U.S. were included on its list of communications and services. According to the commission, they pose serious risks to the safety and security of United States persons. This means that the Federal subsidies are not allowed to use or buy equipment from the companies.
All four FCC members with different political orientations agreed in unison to follow the new measures against the five Chinese tech companies.
Hikvision Says The FCC’s Decision Will Not Impact On Security
According to China Daily, Hikvision stated that the decision of the FCC will not have any impact on U.S. national security. However, the decision will have an impact on local authorities, small businesses, individual consumers, and school districts since they will incur higher costs for similar technology.
BleepingComputer reached out to Dahua Technology for comment on the matter. In response, the company stated that it has continued to review the order issued by the commission. However, the firm believes that the actions taken in the Order are far beyond the statutory authority of the Commission. It also noted that the order will not have any meaningful impact on the protection of U.S. national security.
Also, the Commission’s order does not have any impact on the products that are already authorized, which opens a path for Dahua to gain authorizations for more products in the future. These can only be possible if they are not marketed for critical infrastructure, government facilities, national security purposes, and public safety.
Dauhua added that its products are not currently marketed for the purposes, which means the order will still enable the company to continue serving most of its U.S. customers for several years.
ZTE Makes Plans To Move Out Of The U.S
ZTE also responded to the notification by disagreeing with the U.S. FCC’s decision. The company said it will be exploring its options to defend its interests.
ZTE said it has tried to engage with U.S. policymakers to find out whether there are possible issues with the products it sells in the U.S. In several instances it has engaged with the policymakers, the U.S. government did not identify any specific issues regarding the products it sells in the U.S or any case where ZTE products have been used to disrupt either consumer privacy or U.S. security. Following the current market conditions, ZTE says it is planning to withdraw its business operations from the United States to turn its focus on other markets. The company added that its operations in the U.S. account for only about 1% of its entire revenue.