Washington blocks China Mobile from U.S. market

GUILIN CHINA- NOVEMBER 16 2016 China Mobile. China Mobile is a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company providing mobile voice and multimedia services

GUILIN CHINA- NOVEMBER 16 2016 China Mobile. China Mobile is a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company providing mobile voice and multimedia services

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom did not immediately respond to inquiries about the NTIA statement. As of June this year, the operator enjoys over 902 million subscribers, but it seems further growth may be blocked, at least to some extent, by President Donald Trump.

The Federal Communications Commission should deny China Mobile's application, submitted in 2011, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a filing distributed by email on Monday.

"In the current national security environment, it is the view of the Executive Branch, after consultation with the USA intelligence community and after consideration of additional information submitted by the applicant, that China Mobile's application does not serve the public interest", the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) division, which advises the president on such matters, said in a filing to the FCC. The license allows authorization under Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934 for a company to provide telecommunications services, which breaks down into a range of different service areas.

However, China's foreign ministry spokesperson responded to a question about the company during a briefing and said that China urged the relevant side in the U.S.to end zero sum games and Cold War thinking.

The snub comes just days before the two countries are set to hit each other with steep tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods, in an escalating trade conflict that has already disrupted global commerce and spooked markets.

The Commerce Department announced it would lift penalties on ZTE, which had previously faced the US sanctions for selling materials to Iran and North Korea.

A Chinese man walks under a China Mobile sign, while talking on the phone.


ZTE is in the process of getting the ban lifted and announced a new board last week. But Ramakrishna Maruvada, anaylyst Daiwa Securities said that the impact was minimal given that the company makes most of its money from the domestic market. "This doesn't move the needle".

China Mobile, a subsidiary of state-owned China Mobile Communication Corp. He also said that the U.S. should stop putting "unreasonable pressure" on Chinese companies.

NTIA, a branch of the Commerce Department, said China Mobile's entry "would pose unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks".

In its recommendation the NTIA said its assessment was based on "China's record of intelligence activities and economic espionage targeting the US, along with China Mobile's size and technical and financial resources".

China Mobile's shares fell 2.6 percent on Tuesday morning to their lowest in more than four years.

Giving China Mobile access to the USA telecommunications market could lead to a spike in Chinese spying, it said.

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