The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday voted to strip China Unicom’s U.S. unit of its license to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns.
The 4-0 vote to revoke the 2002 permit is the latest move by US regulators to bar Chinese telecom operators from entering the United States over national security concerns.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICK HERE
The order requires China Unicom Americas to terminate domestic interstate and international telecommunications services in the United States within 60 days of the order’s publication.
The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A lawyer for the company released a statement from China Unicom saying the FCC’s decision was “granted without just cause and without due process.” He added that China Unicom “will proactively protect the rights and interests of the company and its customers. “
The FCC said China Unicom Americas is ultimately owned and controlled by the Chinese government and provides mobile virtual network operator services and international private leased line and Ethernet private line services along with IP transit, cloud and resold services in the United States on.
CHINA MOBILE RECORDS APARTMENT OPENING IN SHANGHAI MARKET AFTER CHINA’S BIGGEST IPO IN OVER A DECADE
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said since the approval, “the national security landscape has changed, and there is mounting evidence — and with it growing concern — that Chinese state-owned airlines pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks.”
The FCC said China Unicom’s responses were “incomplete, misleading or incorrect”.
Rosenworcel noted that last year the FCC published the first-ever list of communications devices and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. This month she wrote to the Department of Commerce, the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies to update that list.
OLYMPIC CORPORATE SPONSORS KEEP DEALS DESPITE CHINA BOYCOTT CALLS
FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said China Unicom “can continue to provide data center services to American consumers despite the revocation.”
He said the FCC and Congress should review this matter and determine whether the commission needs broader authority to address the safety concerns raised by the centers.
The FCC began revoking licenses for China Unicom, Pacific Networks and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet in March.
In October, the FCC revoked the US license for China Telecom (America) on the grounds that it is “under the exploitation, interference and control of the Chinese government”. The Chinese failed to win an appeal against the decision.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
In 2019, the FCC rejected China Mobile Ltd’s offer to provide US telecommunications services, citing national security risks.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz; Editing by Edmund Blair, Mark Porter, Jonathan Oatis and Bernard Orr)