Economy

United States govt's NTIA recommends against licence for China Mobile

United States govt's NTIA recommends against licence for China Mobile”

The Trump administration has said it does not want one of the world's biggest phone carriers, China Mobile, to provide telecom services within the United States, citing national security concerns.

The advisory body, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is part of the Department of Commerce.

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG-The U.S. government has moved to block China Mobile from offering services to the country's telecommunications market, recommending that its application be rejected because the firm posed national security risks. India has 1.2 billion wireless users, but there is little evidence China Mobile has any presence there.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom did not immediately respond to inquiries about the NTIA statement.

Among its concerns about China Mobile, the NTIA arged, was that because "China Mobile is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government", the company would "pose substantial, unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks" and go against the public interest.

U.S. authorities have blocked a seven-year application from China Mobile to enter the domestic market, citing national security concerns that come amid rising trade tensions between the world's top two economies.

The NTIA decision comes amid escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing.

His department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration also recommended that China Mobile's application to offer voice traffic between the U.S. and other countries be rejected.

China Mobile had applied back in 2011 permission to enter the USA market, but this is being blocked over national security grounds.

It had planned something similar for the USA but this week (though not a direct to consumer offering apparently, but aimed at the enterprise sector) but its application was blocked following a recommendation from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In early June, however, the president eased restrictions on ZTE after concerns that they harmed USA telecom gear makers that sold components to the company.

If the deal went through, Redl wrote, "the Chinese government, through China Mobile, would have a greater ability to monitor, degrade and disrupt USA government communications".

Mobile carrier Wind Tre signed Ericsson to provide base stations for 60 per cent of its network, Bloomberg said, displacing ZTE from a billion-dollar deal signed two years ago when the operator was named VimpelCom.

"This assessment rests in large part on China's record of intelligence activities and economic espionage targeting the USA, along with China Mobile's size and technical and financial resources", the NTIA said.

The Trump administration is expected to bring into effect the first tranche of 25% tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods.



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