Skip to content

China Tech’s Grip Persists in US Long After Orders to Rip It Out

Rural telecom providers, corporate jets, even the Department of Defense retain gear made by Huawei and other banned companies

Huawei Technologies equipment is still in place at United Wireless Communications in Dodge City, Kansas, despite federal bans.

Huawei Technologies equipment is still in place at United Wireless Communications in Dodge City, Kansas, despite federal bans.

Photographer: Doug Barrett/Bloomberg

It’s been three years since US officials sounded the alarm: Citing national security threats, the White House, Congress and federal agencies began ordering that certain Chinese-made equipment had to be ripped out from telecommunications and security networks.

But delays, deferrals and a serious funding shortfall have left that threat largely unaddressed, and Chinese technology remains in place throughout America — including in some surprising places. More than 100 telecom providers are still connecting mobile phone calls for hundreds of thousands of customers with gear from Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. Chinese-made equipment is also still serving Department of Defense facilities, the corporate jets of some of the largest US companies and the biggest commercial airlines.