FCC Takes Tough Stance on Chinese Government-Controlled Telecommunications Entities

  • Post category:Blog

The Federal Communications Commission has issued Show Cause Orders against four Chinese companies that are controlled – actually, owned — by the Communist government. The orders direct China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet to explain why the Commission should not start the process of revoking their authorizations to operate in the U.S. 

The initiation of this action follows the FCC’s rejection in 2019 – on national security and law enforcement grounds – of China Mobile USA’s application to provide international telecommunications services between the U.S. and foreign countries. 

In announcing the action against the four Chinese carriers, Chairman Pai said that, “Foreign entities providing telecommunications services – or seeking to provide service – in the United States must not pose a risk to our national security.” He elaborated that the FCC’s deep concerns were shared by the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, and Commerce, as well as the U.S. Trade Representative.

The four companies have 30 days to respond, demonstrating that 1.) they are not subject to the influence and control of the Chinese government, 2.) they continue to be qualified to hold section 214 authorizations and International Signaling Point Codes, and 3.) public convenience and necessity are served by their retention of these authorizations and assignments. Given that China is responsible for the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we would say that the chances of these four companies operating, or continuing to operate, in the U.S. are Slim and None. And Slim is in quarantine with Covid-19.