US bans major Chinese telecom over national security risks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revoked China Unicom Americas’ license, one of the world’s largest mobile service providers, over “serious national security concerns.”

This effectively bans the telecom company from providing domestic and international telecommunication services within the United States.

China Unicom Americas is the largest foreign subsidiary of China Unicom (short for China United Network Communications Group), a Chinese state-owned telecom company. Its network infrastructure covers over 30 countries and regions, and it owns more than 40 submarine and 20 terrestrial cable systems.

The order, issued on Thursday, instructs the Chinese telecom company to stop providing its services in the US within 60 days.

FCC instructed China Unicom Americas to terminate any domestic or international services within 60 days after the release of its order.

The Order finds that China Unicom Americas, a US subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned enterprise, is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight, the FCC said.

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