Trump Moves to Ban Foreign Telecom Gear, Targeting Huawei in Battle With China – The New York Times

The White House, intelligence officials and lawmakers from both parties argue that China has already shaped its telecommunications and that tech industries have also given rise inside Chinese territory to facial recognition, constant surveillance of the population and human rights abuses.

American officials have also warned that China’s exports of Huawei and other tech products have allowed other authoritarian nations to spy on their citizens and access sensitive security and trade secrets.

“We must have a cleareyed view of the threats that we face and be prepared to do what is necessary to counter those threats,” Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said in a statement. “Today’s executive order does just that.”

But even if Huawei is banned from the United States, it will likely control 40 to 60 percent of the networks around the world. It has made a strong marketing pitch in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia where it holds huge economic influence. American officials have said China has offered subsidized prices and low-interest loans to outmaneuver the few Western competitors, chiefly Nokia and Ericsson, both European firms.

The United States will have to connect to those nations — and must prepare for a day when the American government and companies will have to live in “dirty networks,” Sue Gordon, the deputy director of national intelligence, recently warned.

In January, prosecutors in Washington State charged two units of Huawei of conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile and of wire fraud.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he doubted that Chinese companies could meet American standards and laws on surveillance.


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