The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is joining the Trump administration, Congress and other government agencies in targeting Huawei, China’s telecom equipment maker, as a security risk, according to the New York Times.
The FCC has proposed a rule that would inhibit telecom carriers from using money form the $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund that subsidizes phone, wireless and broadband services in poor and remote areas to buy equipment from companies deemed to pose national security risks. Potentially, the rule would further crimp Huawei’s American sales, particularly affecting small and rural carriers.
The proposed rule does not mention Huawei specifically, but would apply to any telecom supplier or subcontractor deemed a security risk, but the Times said there is no doubt the company is the target of the proposal.
Huawei had global revenue of more than $90 billion in 2017, but only $200 to $300 in the U.S., according to analysts. Most U.S. sales were smartphones, but it also sells some network gear to small and rural carriers here.
The FCC’s move follows others by the U.S. government aimed at curtailing the reach of foreign tech companies, including putting Russian security software company Kaspersky on its banned list and President Trump’s blocking Broadcom’s $117 billion takeover bid for Singapore-based Qualcomm.
Lenovo, which bases its router business in the Triangle, uses equipment made in China, but it is unclear how these moves may affect it.