Huawei says Trump's ban will hurt US 5G deployment
The Chinese networking giant sees a high cost to an executive order that would limit foreign involvement in communications networks.
Corinne ReichertSenior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
"The executive order prohibits transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary whenever the secretary of commerce determines that a transaction would pose a threat to national security," the Department of Commerce said in a statement.
5G is widely seen as a game-changing technology that's expected to dramatically boost the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. It can run between 10 and 100 times faster than a typical cellular connection today.
Watch this: We tested Verizon's new 5G network
Huawei, which has repeatedly denied that its products pose a security threat, said restricting it from doing business in the US would force the country to use "inferior yet more expensive alternatives" and ultimately hurt the rollout of the 5G next-generation cellular network in the US and China, according to Reuters.
China intends to take "the necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese firms," a commerce ministry spokesperson told reporters.
The order follows a 10-count indictment by the US government alleging that Huawei conspired to steal intellectual property from
and subsequently obstructed justice, in addition to a separate 13-count indictment against the company and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou.
The Department of Commerce will issue regulations to implement Trump's order within 150 days.
In judging whether a foreign company's involvement is a threat to national security, the secretary of commerce will consult with the attorney general; the secretaries of treasury, state, defense and homeland security; the US trade representative; the director of national intelligence; the administrator of general services; the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and the heads of other appropriate agencies.
All of the above will report to the president in a year on whether the order's actions are sufficient and should continue.
Before then, the secretary of commerce is required to submit a report to Congress on the national emergency cited in the order, with the director of national intelligence to produce an assessment within 40 days. The secretary of Homeland Security is also required to prepare a written evaluation of hardware, software, and services vulnerabilities that could threaten US national security within 80 days.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai welcomed the move, pointing to threats from "certain foreign companies' equipment and services."
"Protecting America's communications networks is vital to our national, economic, and personal security," Pai said. "This is a significant step toward securing America's networks."
First published at 1:30 p.m. PT on May 15. Updated May 16 at 6:29 a.m. PT: Adds Huawei's and China's reported responses.
Watch this: Huawei sues US government, Nintendo does VR again