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US orders expulsion of Chinese telecom operator

China’s President Xi Jinping

The US communications regulator ordered the expulsion from the US market of a unit of China Telecom Ltd., one of China’s three largest state-owned telecommunications operators, raising concerns about national security.

THE China Telecom (Americas) Corp. has 60 days to stop providing services in the United States, according to a request approved Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission.

The regulator pointed to risks that Beijing could use the company to spy or interrupt telecommunications In the USA.

US President Joe Biden continued efforts initiated by his predecessor, Donald Trump, to limit Chinese companies’ access to US technology and market, pointing to risks to national security and companies’ cooperation with the Chinese army.

China Telecom is among the companies that were banned from the US capital market, by order of Trump.

The US regulator said in 2019 that, due to security concerns, it planned to revoke licenses granted twenty years ago to China Telecom and another state-owned operator, China Unicom Ltd. operator, China Mobile Ltd.

“The Chinese Government’s Ownership and Control of China Telecom Americas increases the risks for national security,” the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement.

The conduct and communication between the company and US government agencies “demonstrated a lack of openness, reliability and credibility,” the regulator said, without advancing any further details.

The Chinese government has said it will take measures to protect its companies, but has not announced any retaliatory measures against US companies operating in China.

telecommunications companies are on a blacklist of the US Government that brings together entities allegedly involved in China’s military development.

State-owned oil companies, processor chip providers and video technology and construction companies, or from the aerospace, shipbuilding and nuclear power equipment sectors are also on that list.

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