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U.S. opposes China Telecom’s bid to continue U.S. operations -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – China Telecom’s logo is shown at the news conference held in Hong Kong on March 24, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission asked a federal appels court Wednesday to deny China Telecom Corp (NYSE:)’s request to keep providing service in the United States after it was denied authorization by the telecommunications regulator last month.

China’s biggest telecommunications firm asked the U.S. Appeals Court to stop the order.

Lawyers for the Justice Department wrote Wednesday that China Telecom “has no chance of success on its claims.”

China Telecom Americas refused to comment Wednesday. On October 26, the FCC directed that U.S. services be discontinued by January 1. This was due to national security issues.

According to the FCC, China Telecom is “subject to exploitation and influence by China’s government” and it was highly probable that China Telecom will be made to comply with Chinese requests for information without adequate legal processes subject to independent judicial supervision.

FCC also stated that China Telecom, which was majority owned and controlled in China by the Chinese state, is “undisputed”.

China Telecom was authorized to operate telecommunications services throughout the United States for over 20 years. It had more than 335,000,000 subscribers in 2019 alone. The company also offers services to the United States’ Chinese government. It has threatened that FCC actions would make it stop “every resold cell resale service” in America.

The FCC said China Telecom’s resold mobile phone service “gives the company access to sensitive customer information, including call detail records and metadata about communications.”

China Telecom stated that it had to notify its customers by December 4th. It also said that the FCC action would not be stopped temporarily and it would have to stop significant operations. This will irreparably damage the company’s reputation and business relationships.

The FCC rejected the arguments saying there is “little basis” to speculate China Telecom’s “reputation for reliable service is fatally undermined by a government order requiring it to cease providing services.”

The FCC started efforts in March to revoke China Unicom’s (NYSE:) Americas-Pacific Networks authorization and ComNet, its wholly-owned subsidiary, to provide U.S. telecommunications service.

The FCC voted in May 2019 to denial China Mobile, a state-owned Chinese telecom company (NYSE:) Ltd, the right to offer U.S. service.

The FCC declared Huawei Technologies (HK:), and ZTE Corp, (HK.) national security threats to communication networks last year.

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