Huawei, ZTE are security threats, says US agency

Chennai: The United States FCC has designated Chinese Huawei Technologies Company (Huawei) and ZTE Corporation (ZTE) as ‘national security threats’ and banned the use of universal service support to purchase equipment or services.

According to the apex communications technology regulator’s chairman Ajit Pai, both companies had close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and the military apparatus.

“With today’s orders, and based on the overwhelming weight of evidence, the Bureau has designated Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to America’s communications networks—and to our 5G future,” he said in a statement.

“Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services. The Bureau also took into account the findings and actions of Congress, the Executive Branch, the intelligence community, our allies, and communications service providers in other countries. We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure.”

This has come at a time when India has banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. The ban, which comes in the backdrop of ongoing stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, is also applicable for WeChat and Bigo Live.

“Upon receiving recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the government of India has decided to disallow the usage … both [on] mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) said in a statement.

According to the Ministry, it was invoking its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. ‘… in view of the emergent nature of threats, [the government] has decided to block 59 apps … in view of information available [that] they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,’ the government said.


NT Bureau