The Trump administration is expected to finalize regulations this week prohibiting the US government from working with entrepreneurs who use technology from five Chinese companies: Huawei, ZTE, Hikvision, Dahua and Hytera Communications, according to a Reuters report.
The ban was first introduced as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 that prevents government agencies from signing contracts with companies that use equipment, services and systems. Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua, or one of their subsidiaries and affiliates, citing national security concerns.
The entrepreneurs had until August 13, 2020 to comply, but immediately began to voice concerns about the ambiguity of the law.
Most recently, the National Defense Industrial Association, a trade group, asked the government to extend the deadline because it said that many entrepreneurs are currently facing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Defense News reported .
Another challenge for federal entrepreneurs is that blacklisted companies are world market leaders in their respective categories, making it harder to find alternatives. For example, Huawei and ZTE are two of the largest providers of telecommunications equipment in the world; Dahua and Hikvision are two of the largest suppliers of surveillance equipment and cameras; and Hytera is a market leader in two-way radios.
The ban is one of many tangles Huawei has had with the U.S. government since it was first identified as a threat to national security, along with ZTE, in a 2012 Congress report.
In May 2019, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the provision of the National Defense Clearance Act, with the company’s chief legal officer stating that “Politicians in the United States use the force of an entire nation to pursue a private enterprise. “
The United States, however, isn’t the only country worried about national security over Huawei. On Thursday, for example, Reuters announced that Telecom Italia (TIM) had decided to exclude Huawei from its offer for 5G equipment in Italy and Brazil, while the Italian government decided whether to ban Huawei technology from the network 5G of the country. Huawei told Reuters that “the security and development of digital Italy should be based on an evidence-based approach and not on baseless allegations”.
The UK is also said to be considering a similar ban on Huawei’s 5G network.