The Federal Communications Commission ordered four Chinese state-owned telecommunications operators to explain why it shouldn’t withdraw permission for them to operate in the U.S., paving the way for likely license revocations.
The FCC sent orders Friday to the U.S. units of state-owned carriers China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom, as well as to Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC, both of which are controlled by Chinese government investment firm Citic Group Corp.
In a statement, the FCC said its orders “give the companies the opportunity to demonstrate that they are not subject to the influence and control of the Chinese government.”
The move is part of a recent push by U.S. regulators to root out Chinese links to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure.
The orders “reflect our deep concern—one shared by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State and the U.S. Trade Representative—about these companies’ vulnerability to the exploitation, influence and control of the Chinese Communist Party, given that they are subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in the statement.
It’s going to be hard for them to prove that they’re not under Chinese government control, since they’re under Chinese government control.