US FCC vote on ban for Chinese tech firms slammed as ‘naked bullying’
Published: Jun 18, 2021 09:38 PM

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

China's Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed the US for suppressing small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises on the basis of so-called national security, following a decision by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to advance the proposed ban on five Chinese tech firms. The Foreign Ministry said the move was "naked economic and technological bullying."

Chinese market watchers also said the loss for the US will be worse than for Chinese firms.

The US FCC voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a plan to ban approvals for equipment in US telecommunications networks from five Chinese companies as they were deemed national security threats, according to Reuters. 

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the new measures would "exclude untrustworthy equipment from our communications networks... We have left open opportunities for [Huawei and other Chinese firms] in the US through our equipment authorization process. So here we propose to close that door."

The affected companies are Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

Without any evidence, the US has abused national power to suppress small and medium-sized enterprises citing so-called national security, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said in response to the FCC vote. "This is naked economic and technological bullying, and it is a blatant denial of market economy principles," Zhao said.

The US should immediately stop generalizing the concept of national security, stop unreasonably suppressing specific Chinese companies, and provide a fair, just, and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies to operate in the US, Zhao added.

The FCC action is the latest in a series of moves targeting Chinese telecoms. 

In December 2020, the FCC listed Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks and prohibited US companies from tapping $8.3 billion in government funds to purchase equipment from these companies.

"The FCC action will hurt the US more than the Chinese companies, as it will hurt the interests of US people," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Friday. 

Xiang said there are many small telecom firms in remote regions in the US that are using Huawei equipment, and they could find it hard to find alternative solutions to replace Huawei. 

The founder of Hytera Communications Corp said in August of 2020 that the federal ban will certainly make it hard for Hytera to explore the US market in the future, but he also said "a closed market is not good for the users." 

ZTE and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co refused to comment on the issue.