The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States has denied ZTE’s petition to reconsider an earlier decision designating it as a security risk.
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau reviewed ZTE’s record and found no basis to reconsider its assessment that the Chinese company is a threat to telecom networks and supply chain.
In November 2019, the FCC barred companies it considered national security threats from receiving support from the universal service fund. Among these companies were ZTE and Huawei.
The FCC cited the possibility that the Chinese government could force the two firms to cooperate with China’s intelligence services by spying or disrupting networks.
With the denial of its motion to reconsider, ZTE can’t benefit from the FCC’s $8.3 billion annual Universal Service Fund and needs to comply with a ban prohibiting US companies from tapping USF money to purchase, maintain, or support any gear or services from ZTE or its affiliates.
ZTE is the partner of Dito telecommunications in a project that aims to put up some 50,000 microcell towers in the Philippines in the next five years.
Shenzhen-based ZTE Corp. is among five members of a consortium pledging up to $2 billion (close to P100 billion) to connect the Philippine islands and help boost internet connectivity through TierOne Comm International.
Huawei and ZTE have denied they pose risks to telecom networks.
Huawei also sought a review of the FCC ruling. The US agency the motion for reconsideration is being reviewed.