Saturday, 25 May 2019

The FCC blocks China Mobile's application for a US telecoms licence

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Monday 13 May 19

China Mobile first submitted a licence application in the US in 2011 but has had its most recent applications rebuffed

America's telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has blocked a request by China Mobile to provide telecommunications services in the US. China Mobile had applied for a licence that would allow it connect calls to and from US mobiles to numbers overseas…

America's telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has blocked a request by China Mobile to provide telecommunications services in the US.

China Mobile had applied for a licence that would allow it connect calls to and from US mobiles to numbers overseas.

The FCC's five key arbiters voted against the move on Friday, saying that China Mobile's presence in the US market would "raise substantial and serious national security risks".

"There is a significant risk that the Chinese government would use China Mobile to conduct activities that would seriously jeopardize the national security, law enforcement, and economic interests of the United States," said FCC chairman, Ajit Pai.

"Among other things, if this application were granted, the Chinese government could use China Mobile to exploit our telephone network to increase intelligence collection against U.S. government agencies and other sensitive targets that depend on this network. That is a flatly unacceptable risk," he added.

The announcement comes as the US continues to negotiate a number of high-profile trade deals with China, in what President Trump has described as one of the most important trade deals in the country's history.  

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