The US Federal Communications Commission has blacklisted Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE and their subsidiaries as “national security threats,” barring US firms from using government funds to do business with them.
US companies are forbidden from tapping into the FCC’s $8.3 billion Universal Service Fund to purchase Huawei and ZTE goods and services under the ban, which was issued on Tuesday.
BREAKING NEWS: The @FCC has designated #Huawei and #ZTE as companies posing a national security threat to the United States. As a result, telecom companies cannot use money from our $8.3B Universal Service Fund on equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/dH6QK4jbd4
“Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus,” FCC chair Ajit Pai said in a statement, “and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services.”
While Pai cited “the overwhelming weight of evidence” to support the FCC’s move, US intelligence agencies’ claims that Chinese telecom equipment is riddled with backdoors funneling sensitive data back to Beijing have yet to be supported by proof.