The FCC found that the Chinese state-owned 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.”
“The threat to our networks from entities aligned with Communist China is one that we must address head-on, and I am pleased that the FCC continues to show the strength and resolve necessary to meet this challenge,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr in a statement following the vote.
China Unicom said they have maintained a good track record in the U.S. and that the FCC‘s decision was made “without any justifiable grounds and without affording the required due process,” and it vowed to “proactively protect the rights and interests of the company and its customers.”
The FCC found in March that the state-owned telecom failed to “dispel serious concerns regarding its retention of its authority to provide telecommunications services in the United States,” and adopted procedures for the company to “present any remaining arguments or evidence in the matter.”
The commission said Thursday that, “based on the FCC’s public interest analysis and the totality of the extensive record” China Unicom’s continued operations were no longer in the best interests of the U.S.
The FCC cited a “changed national security environment with respect to China” since the company was first authorized to operate in the U.S. close to two decades ago.
The commission also said the China Unicom America’s demonstrated “a lack of candor, trustworthiness, and reliability” in their representations to the FCC and Congress, which they said, “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.”
The FCC blocked China Mobile USA from entering the U.S. market based on similar national security concerns.
• Joseph Clark can be reached at email@example.com.
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