FCC revokes China Telecom's authority to operate in the US, cites national security concerns

Polycount

Posts: 2,932   +588
Staff member
What just happened? The US government's fears regarding potential Chinese surveillance have grown rapidly over the past few years, with both the Trump and Biden administrations taking action to combat this perceived threat. Indeed, today, Biden's Federal Communications Commission has formally banned China Telecom (a provider of cloud, internet, and mobile connectivity services) from operating in the US.

As the name implies, China Telecom is a Chinese firm and a state-owned one at that. The FCC conducted an investigation (with the assistance of Executive Branch agencies) into the company's operations and determined that, despite its protests, China Telecom is "subject to exploitation, influence, and control" by the Chinese government.

China's ownership of China Telecom creates what the FCC considers a national security and law enforcement risk, as the corporation's continued presence in America could lead to the access, storage, disruption, or misrouting of US communications. This, in turn, could lead to espionage and "other harmful activities" conducted against the US.

The FCC does not believe that further mitigations or restrictions on China Telecom's operations would eliminate these threats. As such, the organization has "revoked and terminated" the company's authority to provide its telecom services within US borders or to US citizens. China Telecom has 60 days to shut down its US-centric operations from the release of the FCC's order today.

The FCC will publish a "consumer guide" to assist China Telecom's soon-to-be-former customers in transitioning to a new telecom provider. The document should be available now in English, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese, but we were unable to locate it on the Commission's website as of writing.

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merikafyeah

Posts: 268   +217
There should also be a targeted crackdown on Chinese buying up U.S., U.K., Canadian, and Australian properties, not to live in but simply as a means of moving (laundering) their money out of China, disrupting the local real estate markets. It may not be espionage, but it's certainly a harmful activity and should be just as concerning to national security.

 

Aceseven

Posts: 123   +180
Aww man, now those companies have to pay for higher priced american alternatives!! lol, its amazing how broken something has to be before the US govt does something about it.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,739   +5,182
We didn't do what until now?
Took ya'll long enough.

And PRC realized Tesla's have cameras and started banning them.
IMO, it shows that there was some thought into the situation, and likely reflects the attitude toward recent Chinese actions WRT flexing its muscles in various world situations.

Personally, I would rather see the thought go into it, which, to me anyway, demonstrates that there is the possibility of acting otherwise if China's actions end up being amicable.

I contrast this with the thoughtless actions taken before the current administration where anyone in the US was actually paying the meaningless bravado tariffs imposed on imported Chinese goods. For example, I bought some transistors from Digi-Key during the "brainless, knee-jerk tariff" period, and there were literally lines on the invoice that outright stated that they were charges for Chinese import tariffs. Prior to that, I had never seen such on a Digi-Key invoice. I could only conclude, rightly, I think, that I was paying the tariffs that the previous administration imposed in an effort to appease its voting base by showing it was being 'tough on China'. IMO, what total load of :poop:

I also note that the company I work for, an industrial equipment manufacturer, was also hurt by those tariffs, and, as a result, had to lay off something like 10-percent of its workforce when it was previously hiring for skilled jobs.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,716   +4,701
Dump China completely. Contrary to Wall Street propaganda the west doesn't need them at all. We're already seeing the Great Wall of unfair competition staring to crumble with chip fabs being built in the US and Europe again. It needs to happen in every industry sector. Higher prices on domestically-produced goods? Great, native companies will do better and it'll be the US competing against other free nations instead of against a repressive, parasitic slave state. We could even build plants in Mexico and still be far better off - a more financially stable Mexico means less illegal immigration and less power for the drug cartels. China decides to weaponize rare earths again? Other sources suddenly become attractive again. China doesn't hold all the aces - they hold a ton of western debt which we could leave them holding with the stroke of a pen. The US has the economic nuclear option, not China.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,739   +5,182
Dump China completely. Contrary to Wall Street propaganda the west doesn't need them at all. We're already seeing the Great Wall of unfair competition staring to crumble with chip fabs being built in the US and Europe again. It needs to happen in every industry sector. Higher prices on domestically-produced goods? Great, native companies will do better and it'll be the US competing against other free nations instead of against a repressive, parasitic slave state. We could even build plants in Mexico and still be far better off - a more financially stable Mexico means less illegal immigration and less power for the drug cartels. China decides to weaponize rare earths again? Other sources suddenly become attractive again. China doesn't hold all the aces - they hold a ton of western debt which we could leave them holding with the stroke of a pen. The US has the economic nuclear option, not China.
IMO, the pursuit of cheapest costs, most profits (the goal of capitalism as I see it) has become a race to the bottom of the dirt heap (or greed heap - which ever you prefer).

Certainly, Rare Earths is an example where capitalism handed China an entire market in pursuit of that bottom of the barrel, and found out that that was not such a good idea - and has thus realized we don't need no Rare Earths from China.

I agree in this respect, China needs western business, western business does not need China especially given their horrible human rights record.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,058   +3,920
TechSpot Elite
IMO, the pursuit of cheapest costs, most profits (the goal of capitalism as I see it) has become a race to the bottom of the dirt heap (or greed heap - which ever you prefer).

Certainly, Rare Earths is an example where capitalism handed China an entire market in pursuit of that bottom of the barrel, and found out that that was not such a good idea - and has thus realized we don't need no Rare Earths from China.

I agree in this respect, China needs western business, western business does not need China especially given their horrible human rights record.
Speaking of human rights, the US is not exactly sitting pretty, especially when we are looking at the laws that should protect workers :)

the things presented in this video should not be taken as facts, but it's still interesting to watch:
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,739   +5,182
Speaking of human rights, the US is not exactly sitting pretty, especially when we are looking at the laws that should protect workers :)

the things presented in this video should not be taken as facts, but it's still interesting to watch:
I never said that the US is the best. The US is not China though. Ask yourself if you only had two choices of where to live - the US or China? Which is your choice?

As I see it, in the US it is more the forces of greed and corruption, backed by lack of laws or laws specifically weakening labor rights (passed by one political party), in other words - corporations, businesses (not all of them, of course) that are primarily responsible. In China, however, it is the totalitarian rule of the government. In the US, at least, there is hope of change for the better (assuming the US electorate does not allow some Jack A$$ to become a dictator through lies or deceits), China, not so much so.

While there are many places in the world that are easily argued to be better than some other place, I am willing to bet there is not one country in the world that deserves a label of "Ideal". And that's the problem. The World's economic systems are, IMO, a total failure, yet people, as Einstein definition of insanity says, keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. Nothing will change anywhere without changes in the economic systems of the world.