Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trump administration recommends China Mobile be blocked from the US

U.S. President Donald Trump. Leah Millis Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump. Leah Millis Reuters
Laurie Berry | 05 July, 2018, 11:43

NTIA is a branch of the Commerce Department.

"There had been plenty of back and forth over the years between the United States regulator and China Mobile about the operator's plans for such a facilities-based license in the country", said Lee.

Meanwhile, on Friday, as part of the ongoing trade spat between the USA and China, the two giants are expected to introduce further tariffs on each other's goods.

China Mobile (chl) is a state-owned enterprise with nearly 900 million subscribers, and there is now no shortage of distrust in the USA regarding Chinese companies with ties to the state, particularly in the telecommunications arena.

As a result, the NTIA argued granting China Mobile's application would "produce substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks".

But security concerns over allowing Chinese companies access to critical USA infrastructure are not new: China Mobile filed its license application in 2011, and United States security reviewers raised red flags well before Donald Trump was elected president, according to a document released Monday by the advisory body.

The news comes in the middle of growing tensions between the U.S. and China, following a supplier ban placed on its global telecoms vendor ZTE in April.

Roger Federer serves up flawless win over Lukas Lacko at Wimbledon
Williams was almost as good, losing just five of 32 points on her first serve in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Viktoriya Tomova. But she was forced to pull out of the French before her match against Maria Sharapova with a pectoral injury.

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. A representative at the company had no immediate comment when reached by phone.

On Monday, the Commerce Department warned the FCC against granting China Mobile's request to offer its services within the U.S.

The Trump administration has also moved to punish Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, banning U.S. companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to the company for seven years.

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

That represented the first time a Chinese telecommunications network operator had been singled out as a security threat in the US. Phone calls or other communications from United States government agencies to worldwide destinations could pass through China Mobile's network, even if the agencies are not customers of the operator, according to the filing.

Those companies are not Chinese state-owned, but are alleged to have close ties with the Chinese government.

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