The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will be banning the sale and import of new products from five major Chinese companies due to security concerns.
In a statement, the FCC said its members voted unanimously last week to adopt the new rules, which ban new communications equipment from Huawei, ZTE, Hikvision, Dahua, and Hytera.
There have been concerns over national security and US citizens’ data when it comes to Chinese technology products for some time. US officials have become increasingly cautious of Chinese tech firms in recent years.
Actions to limit their access to the US market began under Barack Obama’s administration, and have been accelerated under Donald Trump and under the current president, Joe Biden.
Huawei and other companies have frequently denied supplying data to the Chinese government and say that their products aren’t dangerous to American consumers.
Another company that’s affected by the ban, Hikvision, which sells video security systems, has recently denied that its products pose a security risk to the US.
The company said: “The decision will do nothing to protect US national security but will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for US small businesses, local authorities, school districts, and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses, and property.”
Despite this, the FCC said: “The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders. These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications”.
This is the first time that regulators in the US have taken this kind of action on security grounds. Although new products will be banned, the companies can still sell older products that have already been approved for sale in the US.