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U.S. opposes China telecom's bid to continue U.S. operations

Kitco News

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked an appeals court to reject China Telecom Corp Ltd's (0728.HK) bid to continue providing services in the United States, after the FCC revoked its authorization to operate.

China's largest Chinese telecommunications company filed its request to the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia this month. read more

"China Telecom has no likelihood of succeeding on its claims," lawyers for the Justice Department and FCC wrote in a court filing posted on Wednesday, saying the firm had not addressed the evidence "and instead takes issue with the Commission's procedure."

China Telecom Americas, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was ordered on Oct. 26 by the FCC to discontinue U.S. services by early January because of national security concerns.

The FCC said China Telecom "is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight."

China Telecom, which has been authorized for the past 20 years to provide telecommunications services in the United States, had more than 335 million subscribers worldwide in 2019. It also provides services to Chinese government facilities in the United States.

In March, the FCC began efforts to revoke the authorization for China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet to provide U.S. telecommunications services.

In May 2019, the FCC voted unanimously to deny state-owned Chinese telecom firm China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK) the right to provide U.S. services.

China Telecom said it must notify customers of the decision by Dec. 4 and said without a temporary halt to the FCC action it "will be forced to cease significant operations, irreparably harming its business, reputation, and relationships."

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