FCC Bans China Telecom's Operations In U.S.

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The Federal Communications Commission has revoked all subsidiaries of China Telecom from doing business in the United States stating security reasons.

The action only increases US's sanctions on China sending the two business spearheads farther away.

After the announcement, China Telecom will have to discontinue its services within 60 days, ending the company's two-decade-long stint in the country.

"China Telecom Americas' ownership and control by the Chinese government raise significant national security and law enforcement risks," said an FCC statement.

The watchdog said, "US subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned enterprise is subject 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."

The voting ended 4-0 as both democrats and republicans voted to oust the company from the country terminating the company's Section 214 authority. The commission said that the order "directs China Telecom Americas to discontinue any domestic or international services that it provides pursuant to its Section 214 authority within sixty days following the release of the order."

While explaining its decision, the FCC said that it has everything to do with "changed national security environment with respect to China since the commission authorized China Telecom Americas to provide telecommunications services in the United States almost two decades ago."

The FCC went on to say that the company's "ownership and control by the Chinese government raise significant national security and law enforcement risks by providing opportunities for China Telecom Americas, its parent entities, and the Chinese government to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute US communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States."

The movement started back in 2020 when the Department of Justice when it found the company struggling to answer the storage system of the company's US business data and who can access them. The company made "inaccurate public representations... concerning its cybersecurity practices, which raise questions about China Telecom's compliance with federal and state cybersecurity and privacy laws," according to the investigation.

Presently the company serves a mobile network called CTExcel but the services will soon get discontinued. The commission also said that it "will issue a consumer guide after the order is released that explains this action and what other options consumers might consider for mobile services."

"The FCC's decision is disappointing. We plan to pursue all available options while continuing to serve our customers," the company told Reuters.

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