Washington blocks China Mobile from United States market

Washington blocks China Mobile from United States market

But the US Department of Commerce has recommended the licence request be denied. "Therefore, the Executive Branch of the USA government, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration pursuant to its statutory responsibility to coordinate the presentation of views of the Executive Branch to the FCC, recommends that the FCC deny China Mobile's Section 214 license request".

The move comes just days before the USA is due to impose steep tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports, which is likely to spark countermeasures from Beijing.

China Mobile is the largest telecom carrier in the world with over 899 million subscribers.

Officials had "significant engagement" with China Mobile but weren't able to resolve concerns, David Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information at NTIA, said in a news release.

Growing tensions between the United States and China have been evidenced after President Trump's administration moved to block the expansion of China Mobile.

In response to the United States move, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said: "We urge the relevant party in the USA to abandon the Cold war mentality and zero-sum game".

In March 2013, the company repeated its request after a New York State Assemblyman, Anthony Brindisi, urged the FCC to reject the application on grounds of national security.

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With economic tensions between the two superpowers rising, the Trump administration has also moved to punish Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, banning USA companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to the company for seven years.

While ZTE was hit hard with the supplier ban, as close to a third of all components its uses are from suppliers in the U.S., China Mobile, says one analyst, will not be hurt that much since most of the oncomes it generates is from China.

Since it's 72.72% owned by the Chinese government, China Mobile is "subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese Government", the agency said. Customers could include fixed and mobile network operators, calling-card companies, and business customers.

The statement indicates the United States government has presented issues to China Mobile that could potentially have been addressed, but details aren't provided. He warned that US government agency worldwide telecom traffic could be routed through China Mobile's network even if those agencies aren't its customers because of FCC interconnection rules.

NTIA further said that its assessment rested "in large part on China's record of intelligence activities and economic espionage targeting the USA, along with China Mobile's size and technical and financial resources".

Earlier this year the US Commerce Department found that Chinese state-owned tech giant ZTE had violated trade bans with North Korea and Iran. The company is owned by the Chinese government.

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