Trump May Ban Huawei, ZTE Tech From US Networks Before MWC 2019

(Image credit: Veja/Shutterstock)

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.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Sounds Good , The Security of the country comes first.
  • Samuel White
    ZTE and Huawei are banned in several European countries already because of security issues. One had to do with company leaks and security documents.
  • captaincharisma
    so last year trump decides to save ZTE yet now he will ban them for security reasons. what a deal maker he is lol
  • drtweak
    Kinda sad because they don't make half bad phones
  • shrapnel_indie
    21752788 said:
    Kinda sad because they don't make half bad phones

    If you want everyone to use your equipment with "eavesdropping"/man-in-the-middle/etc. type capabilities, you can't make junk and expect them to use it.
  • BulkZerker
    Huh, deja Vu... Not that it's a bad thing mind you.
  • x_elusiv_x
    Good riddance.
  • photonboy
    FACEBOOK is horrible at security too. Any company that is a privacy or security issue should be held accountable, but how much fault lies with a lack of REGULATION??

    Maybe instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water for Huawei somebody use the opportunity to address the OTHER issues China has like Intellectual Property Theft?

    These issues are complicated so I don't hold out much hope for the USA's current Administration who's all over the place to address them properly, but had the USA not dropped out of the TPP this would be a perfect opportunity to look at the major issues and address them.
  • ekidhardt
    Here's a story,

    I used to work IT at a Biotech (Pfizer) with lots of Dr.'s (researchers) from China. They would go home for vacation or for business, and after they would come back, their laptops would be completely jacked up with software, and this was really bizarre, because there were ample security measures.

    The thing is, I was the person to provision those laptops using Pfizers imaging systems, and they were on complete lockdown. They were encrypted, monitored, and without Admin privileges of ANY kind, there was nothing that could be installed or altered.

    In fact, I tried (with admin powers) to see what I could do to figure out loopholes or security issues--and man, the Pfizer imaging system was locked down. It was covered in anti-malware/spyware/virus software.

    Yet, when they came back from China (the place I now live ironically), impossibly, there was ALL sorts of stuff installed on their systems. At the time, I didn't think anything of it---I figured it was just some bad luck with some malware at a web site, and also as an IT guy, you have to triage your work--easier to backup the data and reimage in 45 minutes, than to spend days trying to figure it all out.

    But then it happened again, and again. Each time they returned, I would save their data and completely re-image the machine. To this day, I have no idea how it was done. I'm smart enough and I couldn't do it, at all.

    Relationships were better with China back then, so nobody was on guard or suspicious, and my job was to just make sure people could do their work, not to waste time investigating anomalies.

    Anyway--I changed my profession and I'm an English teacher in China now :) go figure. I'll let someone else figure it all out, I traded in computers for children, who are much more entertaining. :) --and man Huawei has some really nice hardware, so it's unfortunate (or inconvenient) that this happens while I'm here!
  • humorific
    Okay, we know Huawei, but not what, when and where...