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U.S. Cracks Down on Huawei and Chinese Telecoms from Wireless Equipment Certification

U.S. Cracks Down on Huawei and Chinese Telecoms from Wireless Equipment Certification

May 1, 2024

U.S. Cracks Down on Huawei and Chinese Telecoms from Wireless Equipment Certification

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking steps to prevent Huawei, ZTE, and other foreign entities considered to be national security threats from certifying wireless equipment in the United States. This development was reported by officials and confirmed by Reuters on Wednesday.

The FCC is set to vote on a proposal later this month, which aims to guarantee that telecommunications certification bodies and testing labs, which certify wireless devices for the U.S. market, are not under the influence of companies identified as security risks. The move comes after the FCC, just last week, denied Huawei's testing lab the ability to participate in the equipment authorization program.

According to the proposal, companies on the FCC list that are believed to pose national security risks, such as Huawei, will be permanently barred "from playing any role in the equipment authorization program." The proposal also seeks to give the FCC and its national security partners the authority to protect the certification process.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel stated, "We must ensure that our equipment authorization program and those entrusted with administering it can rise to the challenge posed by persistent and ever-changing security and supply chain threats." The decision to not extend Huawei's accreditation for its lab came just as the lab's recognition was set to expire on Tuesday. Huawei has not immediately responded to a request for comment.

The FCC previously prohibited approvals of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE in November 2022, expanding the ban to include equipment from other companies such as Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

Furthermore, the FCC's covered list, which identifies companies that threaten U.S. national security under a 2019 law designed to protect U.S. communications networks, was expanded in 2022 to include Russia's AO Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom (Americas) Corp, China Mobile International USA, Pacific Networks Corp, and China Unicom (Americas). Both Huawei and Hikvision were added to a U.S. export control list in 2019, which severely restricted most U.S. suppliers from trading with them without special licenses.

In 2020, the FCC labeled Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks, a declaration that prevented U.S. companies from using an $8.3 billion government fund to procure equipment from these entities.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr supported the proposal, asserting the importance of trust in the entities that review electronic devices for FCC compliance, stating, "ensure that the test labs and certification bodies that review electronic devices for compliance with FCC requirements are themselves trustworthy actors that the FCC can rely on."

Reuters Article


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