FCC Bars China Unicom From Operating In US After Lengthy National Security Review
With his approval rating in the gutter, President Biden has apparently decided to try his luck (once again) by mimicking his predecessor. To wit, the FCC has revoked the operating license of state-owned telecom giant China Unicom, barring it from continuing to operate in the US.
The committee announced the decision in a statement released by Commissioner Brendan Carr, in which he cited “security concerns” as the main reason for revoking the company’s license.
NEW: We just voted @FCC to revoke China Unicom America’s license to operate based on serious national security concerns.
This builds on the FCC’s decisions in 2019 to block China Mobile and in 2020 to revoke China Unicom’s license. pic.twitter.com/4BhPEeDrtL
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) January 27, 2022
The decision echoes similar moves engineered by the Trump Commerce Department that involved “black listing” companies like Huawei, ZTE and even (much later) TikTok owner ByteDance.
As it happens, the FCC’s decision is the result of a “top to bottom review” instituted after the agency blocked China Mobile USA from entering the US market, effectively killing the subsidiary. According to the FCC’s statement, other executive branch agencies (most notably the DoJ) have identified Unicom as a “serious national security and law enforcement risk”. Congress has empowered the FCC to protect American wireless networks secure by granting it the authority to revoke the licenses of mobile service providers and other operators who don’t want to play by US rules.
The FCC cited “security concerns” as its reason for ejecting China Unicom. The agency also acted against a subsidiary of Pacific Networks called Comnet.
Thu, 01/27/2022 – 11:45