Africa-Press – Gambia. The US has banned the sale and import of new communications equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, amid concerns over national security.
Other companies listed include Hikvision, Dahua and Hytera, which make video surveillance equipment and two-way radio systems.
It is the first time US regulators have taken such a move on security grounds.
Hikvision said that its products present no security threat to the US.
It 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.”
Huawei and others have previously denied supplying data to the Chinese government.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said its members had voted unanimously on Friday to adopt the new rules.
“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorised for use within our borders,” the commission’s chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
“These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” she added.
Because the ban is not retroactive, the firms listed can continue to sell products previously approved for sale in the US.
But the FCC said it is seeking comment on future revisions to the rules regarding equipment already authorised to be imported or sold, meaning it is possible existing authorisations could also be revoked in the future.
The restrictions in the US are the latest levied against Chinese tech firms following spying concerns, which US officials have become increasingly wary of in recent years.
Under Barack Obama’s administration, actions designed to limit Chinese telecoms firms’ access to the US market first took root. They were then accelerated during the presidency of Donald Trump and have continued under current US President Joe Biden’s rule.