The US Federal Communications Commission or FCC has ruled against massive Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. and China Telecom. This is in connection to the agency's aim to protect the country's national security from the Chinese government

Huawei components to be banned

In a 5-0 votes in court, the FCC ordered US telecommunication companies to remove all equipment that is made by Huawei. The talks continued by asking whether to end China Telecom Corp's permission to operate in the United States.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated after the vote that they have decided to end any contact with Huawei for good reasons, as reported by Bloomberg.

Security agencies contend that Huawei and China Telecom have not complied with cybersecurity and privacy laws, and gives opportunities for economic espionage that are Chinese state-sponsored and disruption of the US communications traffic. According to Pai, the companies are owned by the Chinese government.

Also Read: The U.K. Sets Deadline to China's Huawei Until 2023; Here's What Happened

The FCC, President Donald Trump's administration and the Congress have had it head to head with China on different issues including trade, tariffs and the coronavirus.

Both FCC Democrats were present in the votes that happened on December 10, showing the continued vigilance on national security matters at the agency that will transition with the next administration in 2021.

In 2019, the FCC prevented the use of US subsidies for buying communications equipment both from Huawei and ZTE Corp. According to the agency, each poses a security risk, which is an allegation that both Huawei and ZTE denied.

Since last year, Congress and other government agencies have both acted to target Chinese companies and label them as a threat to national security. Pai stated that they have now established "rip and replace rules" when it comes to equipment removal.

With the same unanimous vote, the FCC said that it would establish a list of proscribed equipment and it would set up a program to reimburse the carriers for removing and replacing the gears. The program will start as soon as Congress devotes $1.6 billion for that sole purpose.

The actions aim to implement a law that Congress passed in March 2020, but it will affect providers that take federal subsidies, according to MSSP Alert.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr stated that the Chinese government intents to surveil persons within their borders and that they do it for government security, for spying purposes and for intellectual property and to get an edge on business and the industry.

The restrictions implemented by the FCC affect small carriers that usually serve rural areas. These types of companies need help in order to fulfill the requirements, according to CoBank ACB in a report that was filed in November with FCC.

FCC on Chinese companies

China Telecom is considered as one of the biggest providers in China. The company offers wireline mobile telecommunications and internet access, according to a US Senate report that was submitted in June.

The company served more than 335 million subscribers around the world as of December 2019 and it claims to be the largest fixed-line and broadband operator in the world. The FCC stated that China's Communist Party has substantial control over China Telecom.

Back in April, the FCC named China Telecom, China Unicorn Americas, Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet as companies that the agency wants to cut ties with, according to Mobile World Live.

On June 8, 2020, China Telecom told the FCC in a filing that it is an independent business that is based in the US and it is not subject to Chinese government control.

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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