US telecommunications authorities have barred US firms from tapping a government fund to purchase equipment from Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE.
The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, formally designated the two Chinese firms as national security threats on Tuesday.
The FCC said it has decided to prohibit the use of its funds to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support any equipment or services provided by Huawei or ZTE.
The telecommunications regulator accused the two firms of being closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party. It also accused the companies of monitoring US citizens and of being involved in large-scale industrial espionage.
In a series of instances, domestic telecommunications firms have used equipment made by the two companies, as the products are relatively cheap. In light of that trend, the FCC has been taking a tougher stance toward the Chinese companies.
The administration of President Donald Trump is also reacting sharply to Beijing’s adoption of a national security law for Hong Kong.