Days after Huawei lost a deal with AT&T to sell its flagship phones with the carrier, the company new faces a new challenge and stop on their expansion into the United States. According to TechCrunch, Congress has proposed a bill that would prohibit government agencies from working with Huawei, as well as ZTE.
The bill, titled H. R. 4747: “Defending U.S. Government Communications Act,” cites several intelligence reports that both of those companies are “subject to state influence.” Security concerns is the biggest reason why Congress is acting to put a stop from government agencies to work with both ZTE and Huawei.
In terms of specifics, the bill references a 2011 report from the United States China Commission alleging Chinese government influence on Huawei and other companies in the country. Furthermore, a 2013 statement by General Michael Hayden of the CIA and NSA said that the telecom company had shared sensitive information with the Chinese state and a 2015 FBI report again reiterated the concern that Chinese government would be able to access US business communications via technology available through Huawei.
More recently in 2017, the bill said that ZTE Corporation pled guilty to illegally shipping US-origin items to Iran, which is a violation of the International EMergency Economic Powers Act. Due to this (and other assertions), the bill seeks to ban the use of any equipment from both companies as a “substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.”
The bill, of course, would still need to be approved by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, then would be passed to the House floor for a vote. If the bill is successful in the House floor, it would be sent to the Senate, and then the President would need to sign it before it becomes law.