By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies on Thursday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke China Telecom (Americas) Corp’s (0728.HK) authorization to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.

China Telecom is the U.S. subsidiary of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned telecommunications company. Last year, two U.S. senators asked the FCC to review approvals of China Telecom and China Unicom (0762.HK) to operate in the United States.

The FCC last May voted unanimously to deny another state-owned Chinese telecommunications company, China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK), the right to provide services in the United States, citing risks that the Chinese government could use the approval to conduct espionage against the U.S. government, It said then that it was “looking” at the licenses of China Telecom and China Unicom.

China Telecom (Americas) rejected the allegations and said it has “been extremely cooperative and transparent with regulators.”

“In many instances, we have gone beyond what has been requested to demonstrate how our business operates and serves our customers following the highest international standards,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing additional details to support our position and addressing any concerns.”

China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Beijing is “firmly opposed” to any action by the United States against China Telecom.

“We urge the United States to respect market economy principles, to cease its mistaken practices of generalizing national security and politicizing economic issues, and to cease unjustifiable oppression of Chinese companies,” Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing.

China’s telecommunications networks and companies have come under heightened scrutiny by U.S. agencies. An FCC spokeswoman said the agency “has been looking at this issue. We welcome the input of the executive branch agencies and will review it carefully.”

The agencies, including Homeland Security, Defense, State, Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, cited “substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated with China Telecom’s operations.”

Those included concerns that China Telecom could be controlled or influenced by China’s government. The agencies also said China Telecom’s U.S. operations might allow Chinese government entities “to engage in malicious cyber activity enabling economic espionage and disruption and misrouting of U.S. communications.”

In September, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican, raised concerns that China Telecom and China Unicom “have access to our telephone lines, fiber optic cables, cellular networks and satellites in ways that could give it (China) the ability to target the content of communications of Americans or their businesses and the U.S. government.”

On Wednesday, the FCC agreed to allow Alphabet Inc unit Google (GOOGL.O) to use part of an U.S.-Asia undersea telecommunications cable.

Google agreed to operate only a portion of the 8,000-mile Pacific Light Cable Network System between the United States and Taiwan, but not Hong Kong. Google and Facebook Inc (FB.O) helped pay for construction of the now completed telecommunications link but U.S. regulators have blocked its use.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department said U.S. agencies believe “there is a significant risk that the grant of a direct cable connection between the United States and Hong Kong would seriously jeopardize the national security and law enforcement interests of the United States.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Hardware
  • Internet of Things
  • Networking
  • Industry News
  • Software

The tech titan Amazon used its show in Las Vegas to talk about watery matters, supply chains and much more. The post AWS re:Invent 2022: A tiered tour of technology… [...]

In a recent interview with Ravi Pendekanti, SVP of Product Management & Marketing at Western Digital, he explained how they have expanded their HDD technology to lower total cost of… [...]

Our picks for the top Amazon Cyber Week deals to ease the stress of those who work from home. The post 5 Amazon Cyber Week deals sure to make remote… [...]

IIoT can be a revelation when implemented successfully, but companies may run into obstacles. Here’s what IIoT is and the top five obstacles associated with using it. The post Top… [...]

Learn how Internet of Things technology has continued to support digital transformation for organizations across industries. The post Top 5 trends to watch in industrial IoT appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

UK-based IoT connectivity platform provider seeks élan and style by snapping up French firm. The post Wireless Logic continues acquisition spree with IoThink Solutions deal appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

Consider securing your remote work setup with a three-year subscription to a top VPN. Windscribe Pro is more than 70% off today only. The post Lock in 3 years of… [...]

Virtualization platforms are available from a number of vendors, but it’s still critical to maintain your virtualization environment to avoid unnecessary resource consumption, out of-compliance systems or applications, data loss,… [...]

The company’s products seek to address real-time data transport, edge data collection instruments. The post NVIDIA unveils supercomputing and edge products at SC22 appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

An account takeover (ATO), in which criminals impersonate legitimate account owners to take control of an account, are on the rise in Asia and across the world. Fraudsters are swindling… [...]

Experts warn that API attacks will soon become the most common type of web application attack. As a result, organizations and their security vendors need to align across people, processes,… [...]

Research shows that web applications and API attacks continued to explode in the first half of 2022. Does your organization have the best defense today? Akamai recommends deploying a holistic… [...]

See how to integrate the Trello software with Google Mail for a much simpler project management workflow. The post How to integrate Trello with Gmail appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

Read how to install the Trello app in macOS and why it will make your project management even easier. The post How to install the Trello app on macOS and… [...]

Find out if one of these top seven Wrike alternatives are an ideal project management solution for you and your team. The post Top 7 Wrike alternatives for project and… [...]