U.S. seeks to block China Mobile's entry, escalating tension

Trump moves to block China Mobile from US market

As a result, the NTIA advised the FCC that it deny China Mobile's application from 2011 to provide services from within the United State.

But the US Department of Commerce has recommended the licence request be denied.

Concerns about national security prompted the Trump administration to recommend preventing China Mobile from entering the US telecommunications market.

In return, the U.S. said it would remove the ban - a negotiation that has been linked to wider trade tensions between the USA and China. The United States is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from China on July 6, which Beijing is expected to respond to with tariffs of its own.

For some perspective, China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world, with nearly 900 million subscribers.

"Because China Mobile is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government, the Executive Branch believes that granting China Mobile's application. would produce substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks", said its report to the FCC, as obtained by CNN.

In a move that could further inflame trade tensions between the USA and China, President Donald Trump's administration has recommended blocking China Mobile from offering telecommunications services from within the U.S.

With economic tensions between the two superpowers rising, the Trump administration has also moved to punish Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, banning U.S. companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to the company for seven years.

The NTIA told the FCC it is concerned about the amount of control the Chinese government has over the firm, US law enforcement's ability to ask for information in the course of its duties and the potential of intentional disruption of other telecommunications networks the interconnection could bring.

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According to the document, China Mobile had applied to be a carrier of global calls between United States and foreign countries.

Neither China Mobile nor the FCC were immediately available for comment on what their next steps would be.

The statement indicates the U.S. government has presented issues to China Mobile that could potentially have been addressed, but details aren't provided.

The company had 901.9 million mobile subscribers, 671.8 million of which are on its 4G network, as of May 31.

The Trump administration has cited national security concerns to justify its decision to impose tariffs on Chinese products and to restrict the operations of Chinese companies in the US.

"This assessment rests in large part on China's record of intelligence activities and economic espionage targeting the U.S., along with China Mobile's size and technical and financial resources", the NTIA said.

We've seen leaked government documents revealing some of these concerns, and the feds previously detailed worries about phone makers ZTE and Huawei, the latter of which has struggled to break into the market due in large part to potential security issues.

Another Chinese firm that has been caught in the crosshairs of the trade spat is ZTE.

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