#mobilesecurity | #android | #iphone | Huawei ZTE security threat I US disconnects telecom giants Huawei, ZTE after India uninstalls 59 Chinese apps

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspAP

Key Highlights

  • US telecom companies cannot use money from our $8.3 billion Fund on equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers
  • US FCC said inputs from US Congress, intelligence community and allies were taken before taking the decision
  • US FCC said it will not allow Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure

Washington DC: The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated two Chinese telecom giants as “national security threats” just a day after India’s Ministry of Information Technology blocked 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser on grounds they pose a security threat to the country.

US FCC’s Public Security and Homeland Security Bureau designated Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp as posing threats to US national security. The declaration bars US companies from accessing an $8.3 billion US government fund to purchase equipment from companies. 

The US communications and telecom regulator described the move as a “major step” in its ongoing efforts to protect the country’s communications network from outside threats. 

“As a result of today’s action, money from FCC’s $8.3 billion-a-year Universal Fund may no longer be used to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify or otherwise support any equipment or services produced by these suppliers,” the FCC statement said. 

The telecom regulator voted in November 5-0 to issue the declaration and proposed requiring rural carriers to remove and replace equipment from the two Chinese companies from existing US networks.

“We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement Tuesday.

In making this decision, FCC took into account inputs from US Congress, Executive Branch, intelligence community, “allies”, and communications service providers. The overwhelming weight of evidence supported the designation of Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to US networks, Pai added.

Both Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. And both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law, which obligates them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services.

“With this decision, we are sending a clear message: the U.S. Government, and this @FCC in particular, cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. communications networks and compromise our critical communications infrastructure,” the FCC chairman noted.

India’s bans on 59 Chinese apps 

On Monday, India’s Ministry of Information Technology blocked 59 Chinese apps for engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity, defence, and security of the state and public order. 

The Chinese apps blocked by India on Monday include TikTok, Shareit, Kwai, UC Browser, Baidu map, Shein, Clash of Kings, DU battery saver, Helo, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, CM Browers, Virus Cleaner, APUS Browser, ROMWE, Club Factory, Newsdog, Beutry Plus, WeChat, UC News, QQ Mail, Weibo, Xender, QQ Music, QQ Newsfeed, Bigo Live, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Parallel Space, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, WeSync, ES File Explorer, Viva Video – QU Video Inc, Meitu, Vigo Video, New Video Status, DU Recorder, Vault- Hide, Cache Cleaner, DU App studio, DU Cleaner, DU Browser, Hago Play With New Friends, Cam Scanner, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Wonder Camera Photo, Wonder QQ Player, We Meet Sweet Selfie, Baidu Translate, Vmate, QQ International, QQ Security, Center QQ, Launcher U, Video V fly Status, Video Mobile Legends, and DU Privacy.

India took the action within two weeks of a deadly confrontation between Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The clash at Galwan Valley left 20 Indian soldiers, including the commanding officer of 16 Bihar Regiment, dead, and an unknown number of casualties on the Chinese side. 

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