Trump to Ban Huawei, ZTE in US in January?

Dan Jones
News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/27/2018



President Trump is reportedly considering an executive order that would declare a national emergency banning US companies from using telecoms equipment from Chinese vendors, Huawei and ZTE, which could take effect in January 2019.

Reuters is citing three sources behind a December 26 report of a possible ban.

Such a move would further escalate a veritable telecom Cold War between the US and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd . In the last weeks of this year, this has culminated in the arrest of Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada at the behest of US authorities. (See Huawei CFO Posts Bail in Canada and Huawei's Hu Hits Back.)

Meanwhile, operators across the globe have been considering whether or not they will use Huawei to deploy next-generation 5G mobile infrastructure. (See Podcast: The Heat Is on Huawei and Telecom Italia Stands by Huawei as Peers Waver.)


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Huawei and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) were first declared a security risk in October 2012 by the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Government contractors were recommended not to use the Chinese equipment. The gear is currently not used by major US operators in the states. However, some smaller, rural operators still have the technology in their networks. Further US federal bans on both infrastructure and handsets followed in 2018. (See Surprise! Sprint Still Has Huawei in Its Network, Huawei Faces Further Heat From US Administration – Report and Huawei, ZTE Face US Federal Ban.)

Curiously, Trump actually stepped in this spring to save ZTE, after it was crippled by a ban on buying US components by Congress. Things, however, appear to be different now. (See {docklink 743043}, Trump Says ZTE Can Re-Open... With Conditions and China's ZTE Expects $1B Loss This Year After US Sanctions.)

An emergency ban would put reportedly block US companies from buying equipment from foreign telecom vendors makers that are considered a security risk.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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