In a statement the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said, it has asked a federal appeals court to reject China Telecom Corp’s bid to continue providing services in the United States after it revoked authorization for the Chinese company to operate in the country last month.
In a court filing, lawyers for the Justice Department and FCC said, “China Telecom has no likelihood of succeeding on its claims”.
On October 26, the FCC barred China Telecom Americas from operating in the United States citing national security concerns.
The FCC said China Telecom “is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.”
It went on to add, “It is undisputed that China Telecom is wholly owned by a Chinese entity, which is in turn majority-owned and controlled by a Chinese state-owned enterprise.”
China Telecom’s resold mobile phone service “gives the company access to sensitive customer information, including call detail records and metadata about communications,” said the FCC.
China Telecom has argued that it must notify customers of the decision by December 4 and that without a temporary halt to the FCC action it “will be forced to cease significant operations, irreparably harming its business, reputation, and relationships.”
Rejecting China Telecom’s arguments the FCC said, there is “little basis” to speculate China Telecom’s “reputation for reliable service is fatally undermined by a government order requiring it to cease providing services.”
In March 2021, the FCC began efforts to revoke the authorization for China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet to provide telecommunications services in the United States.
In May 2019, the FCC voted unanimously to deny state-owned Chinese telecom firm China Mobile Ltd the right to provide U.S. services.
In 2020, the FCC designated Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp as being national security threats to US communications networks.