Status: October 27, 2021 4:27 p.m.
China Telecom has to withdraw from the US market within 60 days. The network agency Federal Communications Commission has revoked the group’s license – because of security concerns.
With reference to security concerns, the US telecommunications regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has excluded the Chinese provider China Telecom from the US market. The company now has to withdraw from the market within 60 days. China Telecom is the largest telecommunications company in the Asian country and has been active in the USA for 20 years.
The FCC said it was found that China Telecom is “subject to the exploitation, manipulation and control of the Chinese government.” The Chinese government’s control of the company means “significant risks to national security and law enforcement,” the regulator said. The government in Beijing has the ability to “access, store, disrupt and / or falsify US communications.”
Several million US customers
China Telecom described the decision of the US authority as “disappointing”: “We plan to pursue all available options while we continue to serve our customers,” said a company spokesman for the news agency Reuters.
The telecommunications group has over 335 million customers in 110 countries and offers services from broadband Internet to cellular and telephone networks. After all, four million people in the United States use China Telecom’s services. The company also provides services to Chinese government agencies in the United States.
Cyber attacks feared
The provider was one of the companies that had already been banned from the US stock exchanges under former President Donald Trump. The Justice Department in Washington threatened to end China Telecom’s operations in the United States in April last year. The government of President Joe Biden also fears cyber attacks and industrial espionage by Chinese technology companies.
This particularly affects the telecommunications group Huawei, which is a leader in 5G network expansion. Last year, the FCC identified Huawei and the company ZTE as threats to communications networks – making it difficult for US companies to buy devices from them. In 2019, the FCC withdrew its license for the US market from China Mobile. The companies China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks and their subsidiary ComNet are also threatened with no longer being able to do business in the United States.