US President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to stop US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by “foreign adversaries” in a measure that targets the Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei after the company came under intense scrutiny for its widely alleged ties to China’s intelligence services.

In talks with its European allies, the White House expressed deep concerns that Huawei’s Chinese-made equipment, once it has been assimilated into a future 5G network, could pose a major security threat.

In response to these concerns, the US’ Commerce Department added Huawei and its affiliates to its list of companies who pose a risk to national security and the United States’ strategic foreign policy interests.

The so-called Entity List is usually reserved for individuals, companies, and other organisations that are seen as posing a risk for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or terrorism, but it may also include unspecified risks to security or even undermining foreign policy objectives.

US companies will now need to obtain licenses to sell critical technology to Huawei. The Chinese company responded to the developments by condemning the White House’s decision, calling it “unreasonable” and a sure path to even more fraught relations between the two governments.