301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

3.16.21 – SSI

The FCC has published a list of five Chinese companies that “pose an unacceptable risk to national security” in accordance with the Secure Networks Act.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Five Chinese companies have been declared as posing a threat to national security by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Secure Networks Act, a 2019 law aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks.

The companies cited by the FCC are Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp., Hytera Communications Corp., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

“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,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

The Secure Networks Act was established to identify companies producing telecommunications equipment and services “that have been found to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security.”

Hikvision told Reuters that it strongly opposed the FCC decision “and is weighing all options on how to best address this unsubstantiated designation. Hikvision does not belong on a list for next-generation networks.”

In August 2019, an interim rule that prohibited federal agencies from purchasing or obtaining telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from these same five Chinese companies went into effect.

The interim rule included language that covered any “substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” from the banned Chinese firms.

A couple months later in October, the Commerce Department added 28 state security bureaus and tech companies in China, including Hikvision, to a United States blacklist over concerns about their role in human rights violations, effectively blocking those entities from doing business with U.S. firms.

Last June, the Department of Defense (DOD) released a document listing 20 companies, including Hikvision and Huawei, operating in the United States that Washington alleges are backed by the Chinese military.