Chinese companies did not have a good time in the US under Donald Trump’s presidency with Huawei and ZTE getting the worse hit. With the ascendance of Joe Biden, there was a sigh of relief on the part of the affected companies. However, Since Biden’s inauguration, nothing has changed, it even appears things might get worse for the Chinese firms.
In a new twist, the US president has now signed into law, new legislation that will further tighten the ability for Chinese firms that are deemed security threats to receive new equipment licenses from U.S. regulators.
The law known as the Secure Equipment Act was first approved by the US House of Rep in September in a landslide 420-4 vote. The U.S Senate later on in October unanimously approved the act.
Here’s a summary of what the Secure Equipment Act entails. With the advent of the new law, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will stop reviewing or granting approval to any application for authorization for equipment that is marked as posing an unacceptable risk to national security. Already, the FCC had in March this year designed five Chinese companies – Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision, and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co, a camera equipment manufacturer, as posing a threat to national security. The FCC based its designation on a 2019 law that was enacted to protect US communications networks.
This new law only gives legal backing to what the FCC had been implementing since June when it unanimously voted to ban approvals granted to the listed Chinese companies for equipment in the country’s telecoms network.
The Commissioner of the US FCC Brendan Carr disclosed that the commission had granted over 3000 approvals to Huawei since 2018. With this new law, all such equipment authorizations to Chinese firms will be revoked and basically, any company from China won’t be able to supply communications equipment in the US.