Washington — Huawei Technologies has filed a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) designation of the Chinese company as a US national security threat to communications networks.

In June 2020, the FCC formally designated China’s Huawei and ZTE as security threats, a declaration barring US firms from tapping an $8.3bn government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. In December, the FCC rejected a petition from Huawei asking the agency to reconsider its decision.

Huawei said in a petition filed late on Monday with the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals that the FCC order exceeded “statutory authority; violates federal law and the constitution; is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion”.

The FCC did not immediately comment on Huawei’s petition.

The agency, also in December, finalised rules requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei equipment to “rip and replace” the equipment. It created a reimbursement programme for that effort, and in December US lawmakers approved $1.9bn to fund the programme.

Also in December, the FCC began the process of revoking China Telecom’s authorisation to operate in the US as it took further steps to crack down on China’s role in US telecoms.

China Telecom, the largest Chinese telecoms company, has had authorisation to provide telecoms services for nearly 20 years.

In April 2020, the FCC warned that it might shut down the US operations of three state-controlled Chinese telecoms companies, citing national security risks. They include China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet (USA).

In May 2019, the FCC voted to deny another state-owned Chinese telecoms company, China Mobile, the right to provide services in the US, citing risks that the Chinese government could use the approval to conduct espionage against the US government.



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