US effectively bans ZTE and Huawei from any valuable government work

President Trump has now signed the Defense Authorization Act into law, effectively banning the use of ZTE and Huawei components in many government or state-funded projects.

The new rules should hardly come as a surprise considering the political paranoia which has been swelling to tsunami levels over the last couple of months. With Republicans checking under their bed every night for the naughty Chinese government, it was only going to be a matter of time before the vendors were officially banned from US projects.

Although the vast majority of the bill is directed towards more traditional aspects of national security, a few clauses, specifically sections 886 and 889, point the finger at the two Chinese vendors. The bill had been working its way through the legislative red tape maze for months, with the House hitting back at measured included in the text which would have overruled the President’s olive branch extended to ZTE when turning over the ban. While Congress wanted a more extreme ban on the two companies, this is the new rules are somewhat off a compromise, but just as damning.

The ban will be rolled out over the next two years, with the pair effectively not being allowed to provide any components or services to processes or infrastructure which would be considered ‘essential’ or ‘critical’. Should the components be used to route or view any data on the network, they hit the sh*t list. Companies or departments which currently have these components in their networks have been instructed to remove and replace them. The FCC will be prioritising funding to assist with these projects.

Legal action will of course be launched over the coming months, the US is a big prize for the Chinese vendors, though we ponder how effective any challenge from Huawei and ZTE, or protests from the Chinese government, will actually be. The duo have been in the sights of the isolationist-inspired government for some time, with this bill perhaps being a critical blow.

Although the ban does seemingly go against the wishes of President Trump, who had worked to overturn the ZTE ban, we suspect the White House will be secretly happy with the outcome. Tensions between the US and Chinese governments have been on the rise again in recent months, primarily due to the anti-foreigner rhetoric which is being championed by the ‘Leader of the Free World’ in the Oval Office.

Confusion, contradiction and chaos; the three Cs of the Trump administration.

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