FCC rejects Huawei appeal of national security threat designation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday unanimously rejected Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s request to reconsider the agency’s designation of the group as a national security threat.

The decision came months after the FCC formally adopted the designation, banning U.S. telecom companies from using money in the FCC’s $8.3 billion Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment from the group, which is one of the largest 5G equipment manufacturers in the world.

“Huawei has a long and well-documented history of close ties to the Chinese military and intelligence communities, as well as the Chinese Communist Party, at every level of the company all the way up to its founder, compelling Huawei’s assistance and cooperation with the Chinese intelligence services and forbidding the disclosure of that assistance,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, said during agency’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

He noted that the FCC’s decision to reject Huawei’s request would “have a direct and positive impact on the security and integrity of America’s networks.”

The decision also comes a month after the agency rejected Chinese telecom group ZTE’s request to have its national security threat designation removed.

Both Huawei and ZTE are groups the Trump administration and bipartisan members of Congress have increasingly pushed back against, citing concerns around potential ties to the Chinese government and intelligence operations. The companies are both on the Commerce Department’s “entity list,” which means U.S. companies may not do