Huawei isn’t having a great year so far. Governments around the world are considering banning the company’s equipment from next-gen wireless networks, and Politico reported today that the U.S. is poised to do the same this month.
The report indicates the ban wouldn’t only affect Huawei; other Chinese telecommunications companies, like ZTE, would also be affected. But Huawei in particular has become something of a focal point for the U.S. after it asked Canada to arrest Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.
Politico said U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order banning Chinese equipment from U.S. networks before this month's MWC Barcelona 2019, the wireless industry’s biggest event. It’s clear what Trump wants attendees to be thinking about.
This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. banned these companies: Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in August 2018 to prevent government agencies from using products made by Chinese tech firms. The difference now would be that the products can’t be used by private companies either.
Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei and ZTE. Germany is said to be considering it, as is the European Union as a whole, over concerns that using the equipment would enable spying by the Chinese government.
Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei warned employees in late January that “mediocre employees” might lose their jobs in the coming months. Zhengfei (who is also Wanzhou’s father) said the company had to prepare for “times of hardship” as it faced increasing scrutiny from countries around the globe.