United States President Joe Biden has approved legislation prohibiting Chinese technology companies like Huawei and ZTE from obtaining network equipment licences in the United States.
Prior to being approved by the President, the ‘Secure Equipment Act of 2021’ had bipartisan backing, according to ZDNet.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identified Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks last year, making it more difficult for American companies to buy their equipment.
Under the new law, the FCC is required to no longer review or approve any authorisation application for equipment posing a clear risk to national security.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr had made repeated calls for the legislation to be passed since March this year.
“Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks as long as federal dollars are not involved. The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them,” Carr had said.
Besides Huawei and ZTE, other Chinese firms touted as national security threats are Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company.
Biden issued an executive order in June that increased the list of restricted Chinese enterprises from 48 to 59, widening a Trump-era restriction on Chinese surveillance firms with claimed military ties.
Beginning August 2, the executive order prohibits Americans from investing in additional Chinese companies.
The FCC Commissioner had previously warned that DJI, a Chinese drone manufacturer, was “gathering large troves of sensitive data on Americans and US critical infrastructure, potentially operating as Huawei on wings,” in October.
DJI, located in Shenzhen, controls more than half of the US drone market.
(With IANS inputs)