FCC Declares Chinese Telecoms ‘National Security Threats’

Huawei, ZTE no longer can be paid out of FCC service fund

The FCC announced on Tuesday that they are designating Huawei and ZTE, two major Chinese telecommunication equipment suppliers, “national security threats.” This forbids the FCC Universal Service Fund from buying any equipment from either of them.

US hostility toward China in general and Huawei in particular means it is unlikely the US was ever going to buy large amounts from these companies. The declaration also likely is aimed at scaring private companies and other nations from buying Chinese.

The Universal Service Fund is meant to ensure rural Americans access to broadband and other services. Huawei is a top low-cost provider for services, meaning the US will have to buy from pricier competitors because of this. ZTE mostly makes handsets, and similarly is prized for high-quality, low-cost products.

Since US surveillance depends on telecom equipment providers’ support, Huawei has often been vilified by the US in recent years. The US has also gone after ZTE at times, mostly accusing them of intellectual property violations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.