US Designates China Telecom as National Security Threat, Cancels Authorization

Due to national security concerns, The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to abolish the authorization of China Telecom’s U.S. subsidiary to operate in the United States. China Telecom’s US subsidiary has now 60 days to shut down operations. The company has had a 20 year experience in the USA.

The FCC’s primary concern was that China Telecom was open to exploitation and influence from the Chinese Government. The regulatory agency also added that Chinese Government’s supposed control over the company raises national security risks for the USA.

China Telecom America was disappointed with the decision but the company statement emphasized that it would pursue all available options and continue to serve its customers. China Telecom, which also provides services to Chinese Government facilities in the US, claims it is the biggest broadband and fixed line operator in the world with 335 million subscribers.

The company has been especially active targeting Chinese Americans, tourists and students in American universities, as well as Chinese businesses.

FCC’s first warning against China Telecom, as well as two other Chinese telecom companies came in April, 2020. The agency then said it could revoke authorizations of China Telecom, China Unicom and Pacific Networks’ US subsidiaries.

The FCC has taken similar measures against other Chinese telecommunications companies. Last year both Huawei and ZTE were designated as national security threats and were prevented to participate in 5G projects.

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