President Donald Trump is likely to ban Chinese telecom equipment from US wireless networks by signing an executive order as soon as next week, according to Politico.
The administration wants to issue the order before Mobile World Congress, Politico reported Thursday, citing three anonymous sources. MWC 2019, the world’s largest mobile industry show, runs from Feb. 25 to 28 in Barcelona.
The order, which was previously expected in January, would have a major impact on Huawei and ZTE even if it doesn’t name them specifically. The two Chinese mobile giants have been accused by the US government of posing national security risks.
The White House wants to get the order out ahead of Mobile World Congress to highlight the importance of cybersecurity in contracts for tech infrastructure, Politico noted.
This comes after a report that the US State Department is discouraging European countries from using equipment made by Huawei in their 5G rollouts — the latest step in the saga surrounding that company.
Neither the White House, Huawei nor ZTE immediately responded to requests for comment.
In August, Trump signed a bill prohibiting the US government and its contractors from buying certain equipment from ZTE, Huawei and other Chinese companies, prompting some universities to review and replace gear.