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China Telecom Companies Under Investigation by the US Over Data Privacy Risks

Cyber Security

 Data security risks, US data privacy, Chinese telecom, cyber security

Biden administration is closely examining China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom's US operations driven by the data security concerns.

The Biden administration has started an investigation into three massive telecom companies: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, which could risk US data security. These organizations maintain a limited presence, providing cloud services and routing US internet traffic, despite being barred from delivering retail internet and phone services in the US.

Driven by concerns that these companies would misuse their access to US data, this is what prompted the probe, which is a component of larger initiatives to safeguard national security amid rising US-China tensions. Authorities are concentrating especially on the corporations’ Point of Presence (PoPs) at critical internet exchange points in the US, which facilitate large-scale networks and may allow for data modification or interception.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which had earlier denied China Mobile's application for a US telephone service license, cancelled China Telecom’s and China Unicom’s licenses. The risks include the possibility of espionage, data disruption, or unauthorized access to private data kept in their data centers in the US.

The investigation confirms Washington’s plan to limit Chinese companies’ access to US data in the middle of ongoing concerns over cyber security threats posed by foreign competitors. Although there is no evidence that these companies have intentionally misused data, the investigator’s goal is to address the vulnerabilities that can jeopardize American business and individuals.

The Commerce Department, which is leading the investigation, stressed the significance of preventing foreign businesses from using US data while declining to comment on particular proposals under consideration.

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