US authorities announced on Friday a ban on the import or sale of communications equipment deemed “an unacceptable risk to national security,” including equipment from Chinese giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE.
Both firms were on the list of companies listed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a threat, and the new rules prohibit the issuance of permits for the use of their equipment in the future.
The move is the latest in a series of moves to limit Chinese telecommunications companies’ access to US networks, and comes amid a protracted standoff between the world’s two largest economies.
U.S. officials have been growing cautious about Chinese telecommunications companies and technology in recent years.
“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrusted communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders,” Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworthel said in a statement.
She added that the new rules are part of the ongoing work to protect against security threats.
The order also affects companies, including video surveillance equipment firms Hangzhou Hikvision and Dahua Technology.
The FCC said Friday that it is also seeking comments on future actions related to existing permits.
Earlier, Washington banned Huawei from supplying US government systems and strongly advised against using its equipment in the private sector, fearing that Huawei equipment could be compromised by Chinese intelligence.
In 2019, Huawei was blacklisted by trading companies that banned US suppliers from doing business with it, causing the Chinese firm, also a leading smartphone brand, to be cut off from Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The U.S. also cited national security concerns to restrict the activities of China’s three big state-owned mobile operators.