Trump ramps up battle against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

Photo: AFP

Donald Trump stepped up his battle against Huawei Wednesday, effectively barring the Chinese telecom giant from the US market and adding it to a blacklist restricting US sales to the firm amid an escalating trade war with Beijing.

An executive order signed by the president prohibits purchase or use of equipment from companies that pose "an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons."

"This administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous and to protect America from foreign adversaries," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

A senior White House official insisted that no particular country or company was targeted in the "company- and country-agnostic" declaration.

However, the measure - announced just as a US-China trade war deepens -- is widely seen as prompted by already deep concerns over an alleged spying threat from Huawei.

"Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives," Huawei said in a statement.

"In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei's rights and raise other serious legal issues," it said.

The Commerce Department followed up with a more direct hit on the tech giant, adding it to a blacklist that will make it much harder for the firm to use crucial US components in its array of phones, telecom gear, databases and other electronics.

Canada has also been dragged into the spat as it arrested a Huawei executive on a US extradition warrant.

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