The Federal Communications Commission today denied China Mobile USA’s application to provide telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations.
The FCC says that China Mobile USA “has not demonstrated that its application for the authority to provide international telecommunications services is in the public interest. “ Specifically, the Commission found that due to “several factors related to China Mobile USA’s ownership and control by the Chinese government, grant of the application would raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks that cannot be addressed through a mitigation agreement between China Mobile and the federal government.”
“We comply with all applicable laws in the course of operations and have not engaged in any behavior that causes ‘substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks,”’ China Mobile said.
China Mobile USA is a Delaware corporation that is ultimately owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China. In 2011, China Mobile USA filed an application permissionto provide international facilities-based and resale services between the United States and foreign destinations.
In 2018, after a lengthy review of the application, discussions with the applicant, and consultation with the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NTIA filed a recommendation on behalf of Executive Branch agencies to deny China Mobile USA’s application. This is the first instance in which Executive Branch agencies have recommended that the FCC deny an application due to national security and law enforcement concerns.
FCC decision came as senior Chinese officials were set to visit Washington for negotiations Thursday and Friday. President Donald Trump is locked in a trade dispute with China and has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as early as Friday.
The Trump administration also is trying to persuade allies to shun Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese network-gear maker that U.S. officials call a security risk. Huawei officials dispute the accusation.