After approving of subsidies last year, the FCC now requests that carriers submit their Huawei, ZTE telecom info to receive a government subsidy.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that small rural carriers, those who currently own Huawei or ZTE telecom equipment, must submit their information to qualify for the government subsidy. It's not necessarily the case that every carrier has Huawei and ZTE equipment. And yet, there are a number of small, rural carriers that own Huawei or ZTE hardware. These carriers are the ones the FCC is requesting information from.
Why is the FCC requesting this information from carriers?
The FCC requests this information from US companies because they must upgrade their telecom equipment. As of last May, the Trump administration has declared Huawei and ZTE "threats to national security." The Chinese Government has been accused of espionage. Huawei is accused of using mobile and telecom devices to spy on Huawei clientele (including US customers). To avoid Chinese espionage, the FCC requests small carriers ditch Chinese equipment and upgrade to another telecom maker.
The FCC has approved Universal Service Fund subsidies. Still, it needs information from businesses before approving telecom subsidies. The FCC wants to know just how many carriers are using Huawei and ZTE equipment currently. It needs to see just how much money will be required for the upgrade effort.
Huawei denies espionage claim
Huawei denies espionage claims. It says that the US has no proof. However, there is proof of Huawei's ability to spy on customers. The Shenzhen OEM has a number of software and hardware loopholes in its telecom and mobile equipment. The company receives large subsidies in China from its Beijing government. Government subsidy in China is a privilege few other companies share. Government officials own the majority of the company. The Huawei CEO, Ren Zhengfei, owns a mere 2% of the company. Who owns the rest? Current employees have military backgrounds. They work with the government on a number of technological projects. Huawei employees must flash the Huawei logo to publish research papers with government approval.
Huawei spies on political opponents of foreign governments. The company has digital surveillance "safe cities" in Uganda and Zambia. This report was detailed by the Wall Street Journal some months ago. And its digital surveillance clients, like Uganda, are brought to Beijing headquarters when training their police forces. Huawei has its logo in the main room of the Ugandan police headquarters. It is a strange thing that, like its logo on research papers, attests to the government's love of Huawei. Huawei itself is a Chinese word meaning "the advancement of China." It doesn't get more pro-Chinese nationalist than that.
Huawei's lawbreaking reputation
Additionally, when Huawei is not being pro-government, it is under suspicion of crimes. CEO Ren Zhengfei's daughter and Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, is guilty of bank fraud. She has been arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions against criminal countries. Huawei's own track record with building wireless networks for rogue countries such as North Korea only adds to the suspicion.
Coronavirus detection app shows espionage potential
Some still find the claims against Huawei false. And yet, the new coronavirus outbreak shows just how dangerous Huawei is. With the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, Beijing has created a "Close Detector" app to determine if someone comes in contact with a coronavirus victim. How can Beijing know if someone has come into contact with a victim? How can the app tell someone, who types in their governmental number, by the way, if they are at risk? Some digital surveillance and face detection are at play here.
Of course, Huawei isn't to blame for this app. The app is good in that it aids Chinese citizens with regard to a deadly disease. And yet, if Huawei is a government entity in disguise, and Beijing can create an espionage app, think of what it could do to an entire mobile device, telecom device, or device collection.
The problem with some who disapprove of the Federal Government's stance toward Huawei is that they see it as being without proof. And yet, there's plenty of proof. When one sees Huawei as a government entity, not just an innocent "casualty" in the midst of a political war, then one can see Huawei as a government extension — which makes Huawei more dangerous than ever.