If you thought that Huawei would get a better deal in the States with the departure of former president Donald Trump, you would be mistaken. Current president Joe Biden has signed the country’s new Secure Equipment Act, which puts the brakes on for several Chinese companies.
The USA says ‘Biden’ to Huawei
The act prevents companies considered to be security threats by the United States — Huawei and ZTE among them — from securing new equipment licenses from US regulators. The act was approved earlier this year, passing through the country’s House and Senate almost unanimously.
The terms of the act signed by Biden mean that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may no longer review or approve applications for equipment that could threaten the country’s national security. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, speaking to Reuters, said that the law will “…will help to ensure that insecure gear from companies like Huawei and ZTE can no longer be inserted into America’s communications networks.”
The FCC, earlier this year, designated several companies as potential threats to American national security. Huawei and ZTE are on the list, as are a few other names that will be familiar to South Africans. Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co, and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co are all on Biden’s hit-list.
The American president is due to sit down with China’s president Xi Jinping in what amounts to a high-level Zoom meeting early next week. We can assume that the Secure Equipment Act will form part of that political conversation.