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According to reports from Axios, the US government is planning to ban the purchase of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE.
The two Chinese tech giants are under investigation in an expanding crackdown on perceived national security risks emanating from China.
The reports come from restrictions outlined in proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
It focuses on selling video surveillance equipment from three other companies: Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua.
The three companies also originate from China.
The draft ruling states that the ban applies only to new products that have not yet received FCC approval.
An FCC official confirmed that the proposal is more than just rumors.
They also said it would update the agency’s rules regarding the list of suppliers deemed unacceptable national risks if approved.
The proposal would also meet the agency’s congressional mandate under the Secure Equipment Act of 2021.
The proposed ban on Huawei and ZTE would go beyond previous FCC approaches to the companies.
According to US officials, network equipment could be used to intercept or trace US communications.
In the past, the FCC blocked US telecom carriers from using federal funds from Huawei, ZTE and other carriers on the agency’s so-called “covered list.”
The FCC has also created a program to help carriers remove and replace Huawei and ZTE devices from their networks.
However, the program’s estimated cost has risen to $5.6 billion, exceeding initial estimates by about $2 billion.
Many major mobile carriers in the United States have already stated that they do not use equipment made in China.
Telecom policy experts said Chinese-made phones could be found almost exclusively on smaller network networks to keep costs down.
In 2019, the Trump administration put Huawei on the Commerce Department’s so-called list.
The list restricts experts to individuals and organizations appointed without a license from the US government.
A year later, the US government expanded the restrictions by devising a plan to remove Huawei from its suppliers using US manufacturing technology.
The policy has led to sharp drops in Huawei’s telephony and telecommunications sector, shifting the company’s focus.
From there, Huawei began developing automobiles, cloud computing, and its own mobile operating system.
Huawei’s founder and CEO previously said the company would never share data with the Chinese government.
Meanwhile, Western security experts said the country’s national security and intelligence laws require Chinese companies to comply with reporting obligations.
FCC could ban all new purchases of Huawei and ZTE telecom gear