The US President has continued along the path taken by his predecessor.
The Biden Administration and the US telecoms regulator and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have banned US companies from buying telecoms equipment from Huawei and ZTE forever.
Both cited concerns about national security and the Chinese state using Chinese vendors’ equipment for surveillance and espionage.
The FCC, whose vote was unanimous, is also looking to reverse exemptions authorising US companies to buy such equipment from Huawei and ZTE, plus Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology.
Again following the lead of the Trump Administration, the Biden Presidency will oblige telecoms operators to remove any equipment from those vendors from their infrastructure.
Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chair of the FCC, said, “Insecure network equipment can undermine our 5G future, providing foreign actors with access to our communications.
“This, in turn, may mean the ability to inject viruses and malware in our network traffic, steal private data, engage in intellectual property theft, and surveil companies and government agencies.
She added, “This list is a big step toward restoring trust in our communications networks. Americans are relying on our networks more than ever to work, go to school, or access healthcare, and we need to trust that these communications are safe and secure.
“The list provides meaningful guidance that will ensure that as next-generation networks are built across the country, they do not repeat the mistakes of the past or use equipment or services that will pose a threat to US national security or the security and safety of Americans.”
Huawei denies, FCC implacable
Huawei has always refuted the allegations and said the decisions were based on “predictive judgement” based on prejudice and discrimination.
Some rural network operators in particular have protested at having to remove Chinese equipment from their networks, especially from ZTE, as they have already deployed the kit as the basis for their 5G infrastructure.
The FCC has made sympathetic noises, but it looks like the end of the road for Chinese telecoms kit in the US market, and the fracturing of the global market looks increasingly likely to result in regional standards replacing global ones.
The wider repercussions of the escalating trade war remain to be seen.