US ‘oppressing Chinese companies’ in new Huawei move

BEIJING (AP) — China yesterday demanded Washington stop “oppressing Chinese companies” after United States (US) regulators declared telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE to be national security threats.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday blocked the Chinese vendors from receiving subsidies from a government fund, stepping up efforts to limit their access to the US market.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman accused Washington of “abusing state power” to hurt Chinese companies “without any evidence”.

“We once again urge the US to stop abusing the concept of national security, deliberately discrediting China and unreasonably oppressing Chinese companies,” said the spokesman, Zhao Lijian.

US regulators said Huawei Technologies Ltd, the biggest global maker of telecom switching equipment, and its smaller Chinese rival ZTE Corp are controlled by the ruling Communist Party and said they might facilitate Chinese spying.

Huawei and ZTE deny the US accusations. Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said last year he would refuse official demands to reveal its customers’ secrets despite a law that obliges Chinese companies to cooperate with intelligence agencies.

A resident walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing on June 5. PHOTO: AP