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Experts say latest US moves to have limited impact on Chinese tech firms

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-02 08:56
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A visitor uses his mobile phone while passing by the stand of Huawei during an industry expo in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The US government's latest attempt to crack down on Chinese telecom and tech companies such as Huawei Technologies Co will have limited impact on their business, but the move once again shows that Washington is abusing national security motives, experts said on Monday.

Their comments came after the United States Senate voted last week to approve legislation to prevent companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corp, which were alleged as security threats, from receiving new equipment licenses from US regulators.

Bai Ming, a senior research fellow with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the US government has been abusing the national security concept to contain the rise of Chinese telecom companies.

It is mixing politics with normal business cooperation, and such practices will ultimately harm the rights and interests of US consumers, Bai said.

The Secure Equipment Act, passed last week by the US House of Representatives, will prohibit the US Federal Communications Commission from reviewing or issuing new equipment licenses to companies on the FCC's "Covered Equipment or Services List".

The move came after the FCC alleged five Chinese companies posed threats to national security in March. Apart from Huawei and ZTE, the other three affected Chinese companies are Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. They provide communications services or video surveillance products and solutions.

ZTE said in a statement on Monday that the Secure Equipment Act will have limited impact on its overseas business, as the US market accounted for less than 1 percent of its revenue from January to September.

Huawei said as early as 2019 that the company's revenue in the US is negligible.

The other three companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said the above five Chinese companies now have very limited business presence in the US.

The Secure Equipment Act has almost no material impact on their business. It is more like a signature that the US government is continuing to misuse political and legislative power to contain the rise of Chinese telecom and tech companies.

Last week, the US government ordered China Telecom Americas to discontinue its services within 60 days, also on accusations of security risks.

In response, Shu Jueting, spokeswoman of China's Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday called on the US side to immediately correct its wrongdoings and provide a fair, open, just and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in the US.

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