The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously last week to kick China Unicom out of the country.
According to Fox News, the FCC voted 4-0 to order China Unicom Americas to cease any and all telecommunications business activity in the U.S. within 60 days citing national security concerns.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said since China Unicom’s 2002 approval “the national security landscape has shifted and there has been mounting evidence – and with it, a growing concern – that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks.”
The revocation affects China Unicom, Pacific Networks, and ComNet.
New Law, New Actions
In November 2021, President Biden signed a law that bans the FCC from even reviewing applications from companies like Huawei and ZTE that pose a national security threat.
“Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks as long as federal dollars are not involved. The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them,” Carr said at the time.
Chinese companies Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company have also been flagged as national security threats due to their connections with the Chinese government.
China Unicom Isn’t Totally Gone, Yet
The new decision doesn’t force China Unicom to stop all business activity in the country.
FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said China Unicom “can continue to offer data center services to American consumers” despite the regulatory action.
The decision comes just months after the regulator forced China Telecom out of the country. In 1029, the FCC also rejected China Mobile Ltd’s application to commence telecommunications provision within the U.S.
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