June 30 (UPI) -- The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday designated Chinese communications companies Huawei and ZTE as national security threats.
The designation indicates that funds from the FCC's Universal Service Fund can't be used to purchase obtain, maintain, improve, modify or otherwise support any equipment or services provided by the two companies.
"We cannot treat Huawei and ZTE as anything less than a threat to our collective security," FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. "Communist China intends to surveil persons within our borders and engage in large-scale, industrial espionage. Nothing short of prohibiting subsidized Huawei and ZTE gear from our networks could address this serious national security threat. After all, Chines law does not meaningfully restrain the Communist regime given its authoritarian nature."
The decision was the latest in a series of actions against the companies by the U.S. government
Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department implemented plans to block China's Huawei Technologies from obtaining foreign-made semiconductors built using U.S. technology.
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act also included a provision that prevented federal agencies and contractors from buying certain products from the companies, after U.S. intelligence officials advised Americans against using cellphones by Huawei and ZTE in February 2018 and the Pentagon announced it would ban the sale of all smartphones made by both companies in May 2018.