Following the FCC's decision to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security threats earlier this year, ZTE petitioned the government for it to reconsider that label. Unfortunately for ZTE, that petition has been denied.
The FCC says that after reviewing the record, it found no basis for reconsideration of ZTE's designation as a national security threat. That means that U.S. carrier's cannot use the FCC's $8.3 billion yearly Universal Service Fund to purchase, maintain, or support any wireless network equipment from ZTE.
When ZTE and Huawei were originally designated as national security threats back in June, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the companies were labeled as threats because they "have close ties to the Chinese Communist Part and China's military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country's intelligence services."
This week, Pai said that ZTE did not dispute the claim that the Chinese government imposes legal controls on citizens and companies to "provide access, cooperation, and support for the government's intelligence gathering activities."
Now that the FCC has decided to continue designating ZTE as a national security threat, it will vote on December 10 to decide the rules for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement program. This will help U.S. carriers remove and replace untrusted equipment from their networks.
Notably, ZTE didn't dispute that "Chinese law imposes both legal and extralegal controls on Chinese citizens and foreign citizens, companies, and organizations operating in China to provide access, cooperation, and support for the government’s intelligence gathering activities." pic.twitter.com/xM4kZmiLxg
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) November 24, 2020