The Trump administration has it out for Huawei.
We were reminded as much Wednesday when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new visa restrictions aimed at employees of the Chinese company, along with employees of China-based tech giants more broadly.
According to CNN, Sec. Pompeo couched the new restrictions in terms of both cybersecurity and human rights violations.
“Companies impacted by today’s action include Huawei, an arm of the [Chinese Communist Party’s] surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China,” the cable news network reports him as saying. “Certain Huawei employees provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses.”
We’ve reached out to Huawei for comment, but have received no immediate response.
This is not the first time the Trump administration has called out Huawei generally, or taken action aimed at the company and its employees specifically. In May of last year, the U.S. Commerce Department said Huawei would need U.S. approval going forward to purchase goods from American manufacturers. Trump later reversed that decision.
Huawei, for its part, has not taken any of this laying down — accusing the U.S. government of launching cyberattacks against it in September of last year, and accusing the U.S. government of “lies” in a statement earlier this year.
Notably, it was just earlier this week that the UK bowed to U.S. pressure and banned UK telecom companies from purchasing Huawei’s equipment for a 5G network.
At present, it is not exactly clear how many Huawei employees — or which employees, specifically — will be affected by the new visa restrictions. However, Huawei may simply be the first of many companies to bear the brunt of the Trump administration’s newfound willingness to go after Chinese tech titans.
SEE ALSO: UK government bans telecoms from buying Huawei 5G equipment
Early last week, The Hill reported that Sec. Pompeo told Fox News that TikTok is also in his sights.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Sec. Pompeo reportedly told Fox News.
In other words, Wednesday announcement by the Trump administration looks to be only the opening salvo in a perhaps more broad anti-China campaign.