Washington revoked the US license of one of China’s largest telecommunications companies citing “national security” concerns.
China Telecom must stop providing services to America within 60 days.
Officials said the Chinese government’s control of the company gave it the opportunity “to access, archive, interrupt and / or divert US communications.”
This in turn could allow him to “engage in espionage and other activities harmful to the United States,” they said.
China Telecom, which has provided telecommunications services in the United States for nearly 20 years, called the decision “disappointing”.
“We plan to pursue all available options while continuing to serve our customers,” says a statement.
China Telecom is one of the three companies that dominate the Chinese telecommunications market. The company serves hundreds of millions of customers in 110 countries.
The decision comes hours after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He about the state of the global economy.
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The meeting was seen as a sign of improving relations between the two superpowers, which recently exchanged digs on trade and Taiwan.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has warned it could shut down China Telecom Americas in April 2020, arguing that the company “is subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government.”
He said the company “is very likely to be forced to comply with the Chinese government’s demands without … independent judicial oversight.”
It is the latest Chinese telecommunications company to be targeted by US officials over national security concerns.
Last year, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as threats to communications networks, making it more difficult for US companies to purchase equipment from them.
The FCC revoked China Mobile’s US license in 2019 and is doing so for two other state-backed companies: China Unicom Americas and Pacific Networks.
In all cases, US officials cited the risks the Chinese government could use companies to spy on America or harm national interests.
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