Global RiskNews Briefs

US Revokes China Unicom’s License To Provide Telecom Services in America

The US government has stripped another Chinese telecoms company of its license to operate in the US due to national security reasoning. The Federal Communications Commission’s new order ends the ability of China Unicom Americas to provide telecoms services within the US. The move follows a March 2021 finding by the FCC which stated that China Unicom Americas failed to dispel serious concerns about its operations and security. FCC stated that because China Unicom is a state-owned enterprise, it is subject to exploitation or influence by the Chinese government and is likely forced to comply with government requests. In addition, the company lacks independent judicial oversight.

The FCC stated that it is more likely that China Unicom is being influenced today than two decades ago, when the US first approved the company’s license. The FCC is also concerned about China’s ability to access, store, disrupt, or misroute US communications. The Chinese government could also conduct state-backed cyber espionage through the telecom company should it continue to operate in the United States. The firm has 60 days to halt its services within the country.

Read More: US Revokes China Unicom’s License

Also Find the base guidance from FCC here, which reads:

Today, based on the FCC’s public interest analysis and the totality of the extensive record, the Commission finds that the present and future public interest, convenience, and necessity is no longer served by China Unicom Americas’ retention of its section 214 authority.

  • First, the Order finds that China Unicom Americas, a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned enterprise, 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.
  • Second, given the changed national security environment with respect to China since the Commission authorized China Unicom Americas to provide telecommunications services in the United States two decades ago, the Order finds that China Unicom Americas’ ownership and control by the Chinese government raise significant national security and law enforcement risks by providing opportunities for China Unicom Americas, its parent entities, and the Chinese government to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute U.S. communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States.
  • Third, China Unicom Americas’ conduct and representations to the Commission and Congress demonstrate a lack of candor, trustworthiness, and reliability that erodes the baseline level of trust that the Commission and other U.S. government agencies require of telecommunications carriers given the critical nature of the provision of telecommunications service in the United States.
  • Fourth, the Order finds that mitigation would not address these significant national security and law enforcement concerns.

 

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