According to two people familiar with the matter, the U.S. government is investigating Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei over the threat posed by its devices used at U.S. cell towers.
One of the sources said the U.S. government was concerned that Huawei’s equipment could be used to get sensitive data about military operations and the readiness status of bases and personnel that could then be transmitted to China.
Huawei has been subject to a number of U.S. restrictions in recent years, and the U.S. government investigation reflects lingering national security concerns about the company, according to eight current and former U.S. government officials.
If Huawei’s alleged security threat to the U.S. is upheld by the Commerce Department, the company could face further restrictions beyond those imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Under the new powers created by the Trump administration, the Commerce Department could ban all U.S. transactions with Huawei and require U.S. telecommunications companies that still use the company’s device to remove it or face fines or penalties.
The United States has already introduced a law in 2019 as a safeguard against the threat posed by Huawei. The law prohibits U.S. companies from using federal subsidies to purchase telecommunications equipment from Huawei. It has also mandated the FCC to force U.S. airlines that receive government subsidies to remove Huawei equipment from their networks and to reimburse them for the costs.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.