FCC bans China Mobile from US

The FCC is currently shut down.
Th FCC put a big stop sign in front of a Chinese telecommunications giant.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

China Mobile is blocked from offering phone service in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission just unanimously voted to prevent this company, which is owned by the Chinese government, from expanding to the U.S.

Despite its name, China Mobile was not planning to go into competition with Verizon, AT&T, et.al. Instead, it wanted to provide telecommunications services between the U.S. and other parts of the world.

This isn’t going to happen now that all five FCC commissioners today voted to deny its request, which was filed back in 2011.

The agency said it would be too much of a security risk. “The Commission finds that due to several factors related to China Mobile USA’s ownership and control by the Chinese government, grant of the application would raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks,” it said in a statement.

China Mobile has over 900 million subscribers in mainland China, making it the largest mobile phone network operator in the world. It has a small presence in the U.K. and Pakistan but has mostly been limited to its home country.

Keeping a wary eye on China

The FCC’s move comes amid espionage concerns about a range of Chinese tech companies.

Last year, Congress made it illegal for anyone who works for the U.S. government t use a phone made by Huawei or ZTE, as both are considered too closely tied to the Chinese government to be trusted.

Apple has a mixed relationship with China. It’s one of the world’s biggest markets for iPhone, iPad and Mac, but companies based there keep trying to steal Apple’s business secrets. Over and over.


This article was originally posted here