January 27, 2022

FCC Adds China Unicom to List of Chinese Telecoms Banned in U.S. on Espionage Fears

Source: Bloomberg

Journalist: Todd Shields

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ejected China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. from the U.S. market, adding to the tally of Chinese telecommunications companies sanctioned by the agency over security concerns.

Thursday’s actions on a 4-0 vote follows last year’s FCC action to bar China Telecom (Americas) Corp., and the agency’s refusal two years earlier to let China Mobile Ltd. enter the U.S. market.The vote Thursday shows potential espionage and data theft by Chinese state-owned companies remains a concern under President Joe Biden after being elevated as an issue by his predecessor President Donald Trump.

“There has been mounting evidence, and with it growing concern, that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

...

"This is another indication that the administration is taking a very careful and deliberate approach to securing America’s telecommunications networks,” said Martijn Rasser, director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security.

“It’s a big deal in the sense that any Chinese telecommunications firm poses a threat,” Rasser said in an interview. “From a purely business point of view, it’s not a big deal.”

Read the full story and more from Bloomberg.

Authors

  • Martijn Rasser

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Rasser served as a senior intelligence ...