US Threatens Telcos to Avoid Huawei or Lose Government Contracts

New US Proposed Bill Seeks To Ban Huawei & ZTE's Telecoms Services in The US

To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban USA government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies.

The US government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of US money transfer firm MoneyGram. The information is said to come from a pair of congressional aides, one of which claims that these lawmakers are telling U.S. companies that working with either company - China Mobile or Huawei - could negatively impact their options for working with the feds.

Will U.S. citizens get their first 5G phones from Huawei or ZTE?

U.S. lawmakers are bothered about the security risks caused by these Chinese manufacturers entering with their tele-communicating devices into the USA markets.

Citing two unnamed congressional aides, the Reuters report also indicated that lawmakers want AT&T to scuttle its collaboration with Huawei over standards for the next generation of wireless known as "5G" and to stop selling Huawei phones through AT&T's discount subsidiary Cricket Wireless.

In recent days, Huawei's plan to offer its new Mate 10 through AT&T was dropped, officially as part of a mutual decision to instead sell the device unlocked.

It was rumored at the time that AT&T removed itself from talks with Huawei due to pressure from certain federal regulators, and a report from Reuters appears to confirm that is indeed the case.

AT&T and other telecom giants are being warned to avoid doing business with Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei if they want to be able to secure government contracts.

Michael Wessel, from the US China Economic and Security Review Commission, told Reuters: "The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications".

"We hope that China and the United States can work hard together to maintain the healthy and stable development of trade and business ties".

In recent years, both companies have been investigated for breaking US laws: Huawei has been accused of assisting an alleged elite cyberwarfare unit of China's army, as well as bribery, corruption, and immigration violations, while ZTE pled guilty to selling sanctioned computer equipment to Iran, and allegedly obstructed an investigation into the sales. Lawmakers are reportedly going even further, pushing the country's second largest carrier to cut more ties with the company.

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