Washington has expelled another state-owned Chinese phone carrier from the U.S. market due to national security concerns amid growing tensions with Beijing.
BEIJING – Amid growing tensions with Beijing, Washington has expelled another state-owned Chinese phone carrier from the U.S. market over national security concerns.
The Federal Communications Commission withdrew its approval of Pacific Network Corporation to provide domestic and international services under an order issued Wednesday.
The U.S. government is reducing Chinese access to and investment in American markets for potential espionage and military development in Beijing.
The FCC cited “significant national security and law enforcement risks” that Pacific networks could monitor or disrupt U.S. communications. It said there were no steps the agency could take to address those risks while operating in the United States.
The FCC said in 2019 that it planned to revoke the license granted to China Telecom and another state-owned carrier, China Unicom Limited, two decades ago. This is the third carrier, China Mobile Limited’s license application has been rejected.
The FCC cited indefinite “behavior and representation” by the Pacific Network to regulators and Congress that “demonstrates a lack of credibility and reliability.”
Pacific Networks is an American company owned by Commonwealth (USA) LLC, which provides international services, calling cards and global SIM cards, as well as network management, business phone systems and website services, according to a 2020 US Senate report.
The companies are ultimately owned by CITIC Group, the main holding company in the Chinese cabinet, which “may be able to access US consumer records,” the report of the Senate Standing Subcommittee on Investigation said.
According to the report, the companies are “obliged to assist the Chinese government in intelligence work” under Chinese law.