The US closes Huawei’s loophole, will no longer grant exceptions for ISPs


The Biden administration has found another way to tighten restrictions on Huawei and other Chinese companies that the US government has designated as national security threats. Both sides of the political aisle in the US have been chasing the smartphone and network giant, starting with the Trump administration in 2019. The last restriction: there will be no more special exceptions for network operators using Huawei equipment.

The new law, called “Safe Equipment Act of 2021, “will require the FCC” to establish rules that it will no longer review or approve any applications for authorization “for” radio frequency devices that pose a national security risk. “The law covers any company that lands on the untrusted companies list, which currently covers Huawei, ZTE, Hikvision, Hytera, And Dahua technology. The Federal Communications Commission had previously banned US companies from using these vendors’ network devices. It also ordered ISPs to replace any existing equipment, and Congress established a $ 1.9 billion equipment replacement fund, lovingly dubbed. “Huawei Rip & Replace“program, to make it happen. Faced with all this anti-Huawei action was the FCC’s ability to approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and now this loophole has been closed.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr pushed for this legislation to pass, saying: again in March, “Once we have determined that Huawei or other devices pose an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow the purchase and placement of the exact same equipment in our communications networks as long as no federal dollars are involved. of these Unsafe devices in our networks are the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them. “

The only part of Huawei that has not yet been banned in the US is Honor, the Huawei smartphone brand that was spun off as a separate company after Huawei’s ban. Honor is a value-oriented sub-brand of Huawei, similar to how US auto giant General Motors owns Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and other brands targeting different markets. Huawei sold Honor to a company called “Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., Ltd.”, which the Associated Press report is still a state-owned company. Honor has the same parties, suppliers, software and executives as Huawei, with the only real difference that it produces phones and not network equipment.

Honor is now one of the fastest growing brands in China, filling the void left by Huawei now that US sanctions are in place limiting Huawei’s ability to sell phones. The news of a possible Honor ban came in September from The Washington Post, who said US officials were still unsure whether the company posed a security threat.


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