China has seen another of its operator Pacific Networks deauthorized by FCC in the US. The body has previously stripped permission of China Telecom and seems firm on terminating every Chinese telco’s operations in the country.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted positively to revoke authorization of Chinese operator Pacific Networks and its subsidiary ComNet to end their telecom services in the states.
The US regulator has been on a spree to cut down Chinese telecoms’ US services as of late. The latest move also comes amidst the growing scrutiny over Chinese tech firms in the US.
Apparently, FCC made the move after the Chinese telco failed to “dispel serious concerns regarding the retention of their authority to provide telecommunications services in the United States.”
The US government reasoned that Pacific Networks and ComNet are eventually accountable to the Chinese government and hence could be part of sinister operations against the US citizens.
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But the ousted telco has denied it. Jeffrey J. Carlisle, a lawyer who represents Pacific Networks refuted the US grounds and said the operator and its subsidiary ComNet are owned by CITIC Telecom International Holdings and bear no connection to the Chinese government.
Carlise wrote in a letter that the two carriers “engage in very limited and small scale facilities-based operations in the United States that do not pose national security concerns…The primary business of the companies is providing retail calling cards.”
However, the FCC argues the carriers are controlled by CITIC Group Corp, a Chinese state-owned liability company.
China Swipes Back at US Authorities
The Chinese commerce ministry has fired back at the US sanction on Pacific Networks. It also warned the country would take the measures within its rights to safeguard its firms in the US or elsewhere.
Gao Feng, a spokesman at the ministry said, “The U.S. should stop the groundless crackdown on Chinese firms right now and the wrongdoings of politicizing trade and economic issues immediately.”
In October, FCC stripped authorization of another Chinese operator China Telecom claiming, it was “subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government.
China has also imposed a ban on Huawei barring it from buying any products services from US firms which has proved catastrophic, especially to its smartphone division. Also in March 2018, the then US President Donald Trump barred Qualcomm takeover by Broadcom, a Singaporean firm to contain the growing influence of China in 5G.