UPDATE The Justice Department’s racketeering and intellectual property theft charges against Huawei last week drew wide support from Congress. Lawmakers of both parties pointed to the company as a symbol of the great threat from China.
The news came amid a new drive for the Senate’s anti-Huawei “rip and replace” effort. After two months of blocking it, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) lifted his hold on Senate passage of House-approved legislation, H.R. 4998 (116). The measure slates $1 billion for small rural U.S. carriers to remove and replace existing gear from Huawei and ZTE.
The U.S. sees the gear as a security risk. Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) now expects unanimous-consent passage once Congress returns the week of February 24, reports Politico.
Huawei executives say the company has no ties to the Chinese government. A spokesman told Politico recently that Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, runs a “purely private enterprise.”