US President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that effectively prohibits US companies from using certain telecommunications equipment from being used. Citing that some of the equipment provided posed a risk to US national security.
While it isn’t outrightly mentioned, it’s clear that the executive order is targeted at Huawei. It comes after months of escalating actions and issues against the Chinese telecom and smartphone maker. Specifically, its the close relationship between the company’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, and the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The banned telecommunication equipment in question are related to 5G network technology; the next major mobile network infrastructure. One reason why US regulators are heavily scrutinising the brand’s equipment is that under China’s Cybersecurity Law, any and all Chinese technology firms must provide the Chinese government with “technical support and assistance”. In the name of preserving Chinese national security.
To that end, the Trump administration has accused Huawei as a company serving as an intelligence-gathering arm for the CCP. An accusation that Huawei has strongly and vehemently denied.
At the current moment, the Trump administration has not specified which US companies would be affected by the executive order, nor the countries that would be indirectly affected as well.
Huawei bumping heads with the current Trump administration is nothing new. Last year, the brand’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was accused by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for violating US sanctions against Iran, before being arrested in Canada. Then, at the start of the year, the DOJ slapped the company with another round of criminal charges, including bank and wire fraud.
Understandably, Huawei wasn’t going to take this sitting down, and to that end, it filed its own lawsuit against the US government in retaliation to the criminal charges and nationwide ban it had imposed on its mobile devices at the time.