The United States (U.S.) Government has moved to block China Mobile from offering services to the U.S. telecommunications market, recommending its application be rejected because the firm posed national security risks.
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should deny the state-owned China Mobile’s 2011 application.
“The application is to offer telecommunication services between the United States and other countries, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said in a statement posted on its website.
“After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to U.S. law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved,’’ said the statement.
It quoted David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which NTIA is part of.
China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom carrier with 899 million subscribers, did not immediately respond to media request for comment on Tuesday.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, in response to a question about China Mobile at a daily briefing, said: “We urge the relevant side in the United States to abandon Cold War thinking and zero-sum games’’.
China always encourages its companies to operate in accordance with market rules and to respect the laws of the countries it operates in, he said.
He added that the United States should stop putting “unreasonable pressure” on Chinese firms.
The move by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to block China Mobile comes amid growing trade frictions between the two countries.
The United States is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from China on July 6, which Beijing is expected to respond to with tariffs of its own.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Washington has issued a security advisory to Chinese nationals traveling to the U.S., the latest of such warning as trade tensions escalate between the two countries.
The embassy warned Chinese tourists to be aware of issues including expensive medical bills, the threats of public shootings and robberies, searches and seizures by customs agents, telecommunications fraud and natural disasters.
“Public security in the U.S. is not good. Cases of shootings, robberies and theft are frequent.
“Travellers in the U.S. should be alert to their surroundings and suspicious individuals, and avoid going out alone at night,” the embassy said in the alert published on its website.
Aside from an additional warning about the risk of natural disasters, the advisory was similar to one that the embassy posted in January.
Tensions are high between the two countries over the threat of tariffs.