The US Department of Commerce has placed Chinese tech maker Huawei, along with 70 affiliates, on a trade blacklist. The move will require US sellers to obtain licenses from the US government prior to marketing products to companies on the list.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday it has reasonable basis to believe that "Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to US national security." US intelligence agencies have previously accused the company of putting "backdoor" access in its devices at the behest of the Chinese government, a feature that would enable them to spy on users of those devices. However, Beijing and Huawei have both denied that such a directive exists.
Huawei is one of China's largest tech companies and the second-largest cellphone maker worldwide — ahead of the United States' Apple, but behind the Korean company Samsung.
Aaaand there it is: Commerce has added Huawei to the list of entities considered by the USG to be undermining U.S. interests pic.twitter.com/X2GRvGkfgP— Brian Fung (@b_fung) May 15, 2019
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that the move will "prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests."
"President Trump is acting once again to protect US national security. This Executive Order addresses the threat posed by foreign adversaries to the nation's information and communications technology and services supply chain," Ross said earlier in the day. "Under President Trump's leadership, Americans will be able to trust that our data and infrastructure are secure."
Specifically, the companies were added to the Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Entity List, a dossier of foreign companies and persons with various licensing regulations applied to US companies that wish to sell them products.
Earlier Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Commerce Department and other relevant US agencies to draw up a plan for barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign manufacturers if they're deemed a "national security risk."