US revokes authorization of state-owned Chinese telecom firm Pacific Networks
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revoked the authorization for a Chinese telecommunications firm it says is indirectly controlled by Chinese government, Reuters reported.
In a 4-0 vote on Wednesday, the FCC revoked its authorization for Pacific Networks and ComNet to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns.
In a January meeting with the communications agency, an attorney representing Pacific Networks, Jeffrey J. Carlisle, said the firms are owned by CITIC Telecom International Holdings, according to Reuters.
The communications agency said the two carriers are ultimately controlled by CITIC Group Corp., a Chinese state-owned limited liability company.
The FCC first granted Pacific Networks authorization access in 2001.
The move follows similar decisions in recent years to shut down Chinese telecommunications firms operating in the U.S.
“Taken as a whole, our actions have strengthened our national security,” FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said in a statement.
The agency found last year that the two carriers failed to “dispel serious concerns regarding their retention of their authority to provide telecommunications services in the United States.”
In a statement, the Chinese commerce ministry criticized the FCC’s latest move, adding it will adopt new measures that will safeguard the legitimate rights of its firms, Reuters noted.
“The U.S. should stop the groundless crackdown on Chinese firms right now and the wrongdoings of politicizing trade and economic issues immediately,” ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said at a news conference Thursday.