The US Senate has voted unanimously in favor of legislation preventing companies such as China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE from obtaining licenses for their equipment from US authorities, as they pose a security threat.
“Chinese state-directed companies, such as Huawei and ZTE, are known threats to US national security and should have no place in our communications network,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said.
The new legislation would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from examining or issuing any licenses for new equipment to companies on its list of communications devices and services deemed a national security risk.
In March, the Federal Communications Commission designated five Chinese companies as a national security threat, under a 2019 law designed to protect US communications networks.
Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the safe equipment legislation, in the latest effort by the US government to handcuff Chinese telecommunications and technology companies, with 420 votes in favor and four against. The legislation will now be referred to President John Biden for his signature.
A spokesman for Huawei, which has always denied affiliation with the Chinese government, declined to comment on Thursday, but in June described a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider previous licenses as “misleading and unnecessary punishment”.