Washington orders Chinese phone carrier out of US market

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China Telecom (Americas) Corp. is required to stop providing domestic, interstate and international service in the United States within 60 days

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US regulators are expelling a unit of China Telecom Ltd, one of the country’s three major state-owned carriers, from the US market as a national security threat amid rising tensions with Beijing.

China Telecom (Americas) Corp. is required to stop providing domestic interstate and international service in the United States within 60 days, under a count Approved Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC cited the threat that Beijing could use company secrets or intercept US communications and “engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States.”

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The Biden administration has amplified efforts launched under then-President Trump to limit access to US technology and markets for state-owned Chinese companies because they were a security risk or aided in military development. China Telecom is among companies that were expelled from US stock exchanges under a Trump order barring Americans from investing in them.

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The FCC said in 2019 that it planned to revoke licenses granted two decades ago to China Telecom and another state-owned carrier, China Unicom Ltd., because of security concerns. It rejected a license application by a third carrier, China Mobile Limited.

“The ownership and control of China Telecom Americas by the Chinese government carries significant national security and law enforcement risks,” an FCC announcement said.

The FCC said without giving details, the company’s conduct and communications to US government agencies “demonstrate a lack of clarity, credibility and credibility.”

The Chinese government has said it will take steps to protect its companies, but has not yet announced any retaliation for their position in the US market.

Telecommunications companies are on a blacklist of US government units considered by the Pentagon to be involved in military development. Others include state-owned oil companies, suppliers of processor chips and video technology and manufacturing, aerospace, rocketry, shipbuilding and nuclear power equipment companies.


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