In a major development, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has declared Chinese tech firms Huawei, ZTE and their subsidiaries "national security threat". The move will bar US telecom companies from using USD 8.3 billion Federal Universal Service Fund on equipment or services produced or provided by these Chinese firms.

"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," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

The FCC chairman said that the decision was taken after taking inputs from Congress and the intelligence community and that there were overwhelming evidence to support Huawei and ZTE's designation as a threat to national security.

He further stated that both the firms have close links with the Chinese Communist Party as well as the country's military.

"Both Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. And both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law, which obligates them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services," he said.

Pai said that this was a message to the Chinese ruling party that the US government will not allow it to exploit vulnerabilities in the US communications networks.

"With this decision, we are sending a clear message: the U.S. Government, and this FCC in particular, cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. communications networks and compromise our critical communications infrastructure," he added.

Interestingly, the move coincides with India's decision to ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Likee and UC Browser, over similar concerns. The Government of India (GoI) claimed that the apps were banned as they "engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order."

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma