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Photo: Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has issued an executive order declaring a national emergency and prohibiting U.S. companies from using telecom services that are solely owned, controlled, or directed by a foreign adversary, clearing the way for a ban on the Chinese-owned Huawei.

"This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons."
— Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

Why it matters: The U.S. and other governments have accused China of sabotaging Huawei equipment to use for espionage and of profiting from stolen intellectual property. As Axios has previously reported, Huawei is poised to claim close to half of the 5G market, nudging the technological center of gravity away from western telecom vendors and sounding alarms about China's ability to spy on Americans.

  • Fears are mounting that a 5G equipment market dominated by China will give the authoritarian regime greater access to the explosion of data that will flow across 5G networks.
  • Big U.S. carriers already cannot and don’t use Huawei gear. However, Trump's would affect rural carriers who do use Huawei to save on costs. These carriers are more price sensitive because they have to cover more area with fewer subscribers.

The big picture: Trump's move comes at a moment of heightened U.S.-China trade tensions, with negotiations collapsing last week after China reportedly reneged on many of its earlier commitments. IP theft is among one of the main American grievances that prompted Trump to launch his trade war in the first place.

  • The U.S. has ratcheted up tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and is currently weighing adding tariffs to the remaining sum of imports — worth about $325 billion.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

1 hour ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."

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