The Trump Government has declared that the World’s third largest telecom company – China Mobile, as a threat to the national security. This declaration comes amid rising trade tensions between US and China. The government rejected a seven-year-old application – a license request made by the biggest phone operators China Mobile, to provide telecommunication services in the US. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a statement to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to disregard China Mobile’s request to operate in the US.
“After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved… Therefore, the executive branch of the US government, through NTIA... recommends that the FCC deny China Mobile's Section 214 license request,” said David J Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the Commerce Department.
In the past few months, the US government stepped up to ban services and products from Chinese tech companies like ZTE and Huawei after discovering that these operators violated trade bans with North Korea and Iran. However, the ban on ZTE is temporarily removed, until August 1st, and as a penalty, the US fined the company $1billion and restructuring the internal team including the management board.
Even though the China Mobile assured the US government that it uses secure hardware to operate, the risk that China Mobile as an operator of that equipment would effectively nullify the hardware’s security, claims the US authorities.