The U.S. government has announced a ban on telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from several prominent Chinese brands, including Huawei and ZTE, citing "a risk to national security."
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in an order released Friday named connected-camera providers Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology, as well as two-way radio maker Hytera Communications among the banned equipment makers for "the purpose of public safety, security of government facilities, physical surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other national security purposes."
This came after concerns that the named Chinese companies, which are subject to China’s laws, could be forced to hand over information to Beijing’s security services, although the companies have denied this.
These equipment makers will now be prohibited from exporting new products into the U.S. unless they ensure that the devices "won’t be used for public safety, security of government facilities, and other national security purposes," the FCC said.
Back in 2019, the U.S. government under the Donald Trump administration put Huawei Technologies on the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity, banning the sale of its equipment in the US, over its relationship with the Chinese government. In 2020, the FCC ordered all U.S. telcos to stop using equipment from Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei and ZTE, continuing efforts to limit the reach of Chinese telecommunications companies into U.S. networks.
The FCC in a unanimous vote has now expanded its ban on the sale and import of Chinese technology from firms that pose an "unacceptable risk to the national security" of the United States, placing additional restrictions on companies including Huawei and ZTE, surveillance camera makers Hikvision and Dahua, and two-way radio manufacturer Hytera.
This move comes as the UK government recently asked its departments to stop installing Chinese surveillance cameras at sensitive buildings, citing security risks.