U.S. Revokes China Telecom Americas’ Authority Due to National Security Concerns

The United States on Oct. 26 revoked the authority of China Telecom Americas to provide telecommunication services within the U.S., citing national security concerns.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered China Telecom to stop its operations in the U.S. within 60 days.

According to FCC, the decision was partly based on the recommendation made by Executive Branch agencies last year due to China Telecom’s failure to rebut serious concerns on its continued presence in the U.S.

“Today’s action carries out that mission to safeguard the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure from potential security threats,” FCC said in a statement.

FCC said that as a Chinese state-owned enterprise, China Telecom was subjected to “exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.”

FCC further said that the Chinese government’s ownership and control of the company would provide opportunities “to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute U.S. communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States.”

FCC Chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel described the decision as “an important and necessary step.”

FCC will also move “expeditiously to complete our security reviews for similarly situated carriers like China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet,” Rosenworcel said in a statement.

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