Should the FCC have banned U.S. sales of Huawei and ZTE equipment over national security concerns?


The United States and China have found themselves increasingly at odds over the last few years;  compete on almost every level from ideological to military issues. One of the primary new arenas of great power competition is in the area of technology.

In the telecommunications sector, the US has had significant concern related to two Chinese companies: Huawei and ZTE equipment. The US fears these two countries are collecting data on US citizens (and on citizens of any countries where they sell equipment). Chinese data collection is especially concerning because under a 2017 law Chinese companies have to turn any data they collect over to the government upon request.

Huawei and ZTE are two of the largest technology until communications providers in the world.

Both companies have been closely watched and under limited sanctions from the Federal communications commission since 2019.

In 2021, President Biden signed a bill to secure telecoms against national security threats by investigating Huawei and ZTE. This bill requires the FCC or Federal communications commission to vote within a year on the band suggested in the bill. The bill was bipartisan and sponsored by senators Marco Rubio from Florida and Edward Markey from Massachusetts.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously in the last month to ban those products and services.

Canada, Australia and other nations are also starting to restrict the use of those technologies.


FCC bans U.S. sales of Huawei and ZTE equipment over national security concerns Nov 2022

Biden signs bill to secure telecoms against national security threats Nov 2021

List of Equipment and Services Covered By Section 2 of The Secure Networks Act 

This is the list of items blocked by Section 2 of the Secure Networks Act – updated Sept 2022 (Prior to new bans)


*Huawei and ZTE are suspiciously underbidding other providers

*Huawei and ZTE components and chips are showing up in an ever increasing number of products used by Americans from refrigerators to cars and of course telecommunications.

*Personal and business data are at risk if Chinese companies continue to expand their market share

*China will steal intellectual property with these technologies

*Chinese components put critical United States infrastructure at risk

*China definitely targets the United States with cyber attacks

*Small businesses are particularly at threat from these companies

US bans Huawei and ZTE equipment sales due to national security risk Nov 28 2022

ZTE: A THREAT TO AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESS 2018 Congressional hearing that spells out specific threats.  Long but good.

US labels five Chinese tech firms security risks

ZTE petition denied, FCC affirms it poses security risk Nov 2022


*It will hurt the US economy – These Chinese firms spend billions a year with US suppliers

*ZTE and Huawei do not share data with the Chinese government

*Huawei is already adapting – independence from US suppliers actually threatens US interests

Huawei: U.S. Ban Will Hurt American Jobs

Industry Voices—Madden: Huawei gut-punched into survival mode

Huawei, ZTE fight against FCC national security threat classification


You can find evidence about China-US technological competition here.