Trump ready to sign executive order that would bar Huawei, ZTE purchases

Iphone Xs China Ban

Iphone Xs China Ban

The US has long harboured the grouse that the telecom giants are tightly controlled by Chinese government and their equipment would be used as backdoor spying channels by Beijing.

In particular, the executive order would instruct the Commerce Department to block USA companies from buying Huawei and ZTE equipment that "pose significant national security risks".

Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE are very close to having its telecom equipment banned in the United States in the coming weeks. It would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which would empower the US President to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency threatening the country.

Driving the urgency of the United States campaign is the race to roll out 5G mobile networks next year, which China by all accounts is leading by a wide margin.

Both Huawei and ZTE rebuked the allegations, with Huawei saying it is aware of USA "government activities" aimed at curbing its business in the U.S. market.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not want to comment on speculative news.

"It's best to let facts speak for themselves when it comes to security problems", Hua said. "This is actually tantamount to closing the door of openness on yourself, as well as the door of progress and fairness".

The latest move comes on top of an earlier defense policy bill passed in August that bars US government agencies from using Huawei and ZTE equipment.

Following the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei from supplying 5G networking equipment out of fear of a national security breach. Industry officials are divided on whether the administration could legally compel operators to do that.

The RWA represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers.

A Huawei spokesperson said: "Cybersecurity is Huawei's number one priority, and an area in which we are investing heavily".

Britain is also investigating its reliance on Chinese-made telecommunications with British Telecoms (BT) saying earlier this month that it will not use Huawei equipment for the "core" of its 5G infrastructure and that it would remove them from its existing 3G and 4G networks.

The FCC is also considering whether to require carriers to remove and replace equipment from firms deemed a national security risk.

It said however, that it would still use some of the company's equipment for products deemed to not be at the core of the network.

Sagebrush has noted that Huawei products are significantly cheaper.

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