Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Trump moves to block China Mobile's US entry, citing security concerns

Trump moves to block China Mobile's US entry, citing security concerns Trump moves to block China Mobile's US entry, citing security concerns
Russell Knight | 05 July, 2018, 11:41

But the US Department of Commerce has recommended the licence request be denied.

The government of the US moved to block telecommunications company China Mobile from offering its services to the telecommunications market in the USA recommending the application it submitted by rejected due to the firm posing a risk to national security.

China Mobile, a Chinese government-owned company, has been blocked from operating in the U.S. by a telecoms policy advisory body to President Trump.

The NTIA's decision came amid escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing with only three days remaining for the first wave of tariffs by the United States on Chinese imports worth $34 billion to come into effect. In early June, however, the president eased restrictions on ZTE after concerns that they harmed USA telecom gear makers that sold components to the company.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said in a press release that concerns about national security risks were too great to come to an agreement with the Chinese company.

Asked in January about United States opposition to China Mobile's entry into the U.S. market, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the government encourages Chinese enterprises to abide by the laws of the markets they invest in and that countries should level the playing field for Chinese enterprises.

The NTIA decision comes amid escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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It said the company was "subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government" and that its application posed "substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks in the current national security environment".

However, following some pressure from Beijing, the United States struck a deal with ZTE that would involve the firm paying a $1bn penalty, hiring a compliance team chosen by the USA, and replacing much of its management board, among other measures.

FILE PHOTO: A security guard uses his mobile phone in front of a China Mobile store in Guangzhou, Guangdong province February 10, 2014.

It had planned something similar for the USA but this week (though not a direct to consumer offering apparently, but aimed at the enterprise sector) but its application was blocked following a recommendation from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The company had 901.9 million mobile subscribers, 671.8 million of which are on its 4G network, as of May 31. The company is owned by the Chinese government.

Among the services China Mobile planned to offer were data roaming, data center and cross-connect, cloud storage, mobile virtual network operator, and common-carrier services.

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