FCC Labels Five Chinese Telecom Companies National Security Threats

On March 12, pursuant to the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 (Secure Networks Act), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a list of communications equipment and service providers that have been deemed a threat to national security. The companies are Huawei Technologies Co., ZTE Corp., Hytera Communications Corp., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., and Dahua Technology Co., according to the FCC’s public notice.

In its press release, the FCC explained that its Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau determined which companies “pose an unacceptable risk to national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons.” After the Secure Networks Act became law in March 2020, the agency issued various rules implementing it. The new list will reportedly be updated as necessary.

In a statement, acting FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel commented that “this list is a big step toward restoring trust in our communications networks. Americans are relying on our networks more than ever to work, go to school, or access healthcare, and we need to trust that these communications are safe and secure. This list provides meaningful guidance that will ensure that as next-generation networks are built across the country, they do not repeat the mistakes of the past or use equipment or services that will pose a threat to U.S. national security or the security and safety of Americans.”

The announcement comes shortly after Huawei asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an FCC decision prohibiting the agency from purchasing equipment from and working with the Chinese company. The ban was finalized in December 2020 after a series of preliminary FCC actions and over Huawei’s opposition.