China condemns US ban on telco, urges need for fair treatment

Chinese government has lashed out at the US government's decision to revoke China Unicom's licence and vows to safeguard the "legitimate rights" of Chinese businesses operating in the US.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Beijing has lashed out at the US government's decision to ban China Unicom from offering its services in the US, describing the move as baseless. It vows to safeguard the "legitimate rights and interests" of Chinese businesses operating in the US market. 

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said it strongly opposed a move by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke China Unicom's licence, effectively banning the state-owned Chinese telco from providing services in the US market. 

In its statement, the FCC had said China Unicom posed national security risks as it was subject to exploitation and control by the Chinese government. "[China Unicom] is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight," the US government agency said. 

MIIT said Thursday the FCC did not provide facts to back its allegations and overgeneralised national security issues to suppress Chinese businesses. 

Describing the US agency's move as an abuse of state power, MIIT said the Chinese government would take necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of its organisations that invested and operated in the US. 

MIIT further noted that China Unicom had been operating in the US for two decades and had abided by US laws and regulations, according to a report by state-run Chinese newspaper, China Daily

It called on the FCC to reverse its decision and provide a "fair, just, and nondiscriminatory" environment for Chinese companies operating in the US market. 

On its part, China Unicom Global on Thursday said the FCC's move was without justification, China Daily reported

The telco said its US outfit had a "good record" of complying with relevant US laws. It added that the FCC order was issued "without affording required due process".

"China Unicom Americas would act proactively to protect the rights and interests of the company and its customers," it said. 

China Telecom also has been banned from operating in the US, where China Mobile currently is the remaining major Chinese telco to be allowed to provide its services.

The US government in January 2021 ordered the delisting of three Chinese telcos from the New York Stock Exchange, namely, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom Hong Kong.


Editorial standards