US bans US subsidiary of China Unicom
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US bans US subsidiary of China Unicom

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Thursday that it will ban the American subsidiary of state-owned Chinese telecom operator China Unicom from continuing to operate in the United States. The reason for the ban is a threat to national security.

Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK

Image source: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK

All members of the commission voted unanimously to revoke China Unicom’s license, arguing that the company could gain access to American communications and divert data for espionage purposes. The commission also accused one of China’s largest wireless carriers of misleading the FCC and the US Congress.

China Unicom said in a statement that the company “has a proven track record of complying with relevant laws and regulations and providing telecommunications services and solutions as a trusted partner to its customers over the last two decades.” The company noted that the FCC did not provide it with the decision”necessary due processand what she will beactively protect their rights and interests as well as the interests of their customers“.

As the New York Times noted, the FCC’s decision was made amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing. U.S. lawmakers and regulators have in recent years targeted Chinese wireless operators, who serve a relatively small number of customers in the United States, as a potential national security threat.

In their 2019 filing with the FCC, lawmakers called for a review of China Unicom and China Telecom’s authorization to operate in the United States. As a result, the FCC revoked China Telecom’s license to provide services in the United States in October last year on national security grounds. And the New York Stock Exchange delisted both companies along with China Mobile.

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Johnson Smith

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