Trump moves to block China Mobile's US entry

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Trump moves to block China Mobile's US entry

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the United States said that FCC should deny the entry.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a branch of the Commerce Department, said Monday it had recommended the Federal Communications Commission deny China Mobile's application.

And now China Mobile has become the latest entity to be targetted by the US.

Though hardly as threatening as the U.S. measures against telecom equipment maker ZTE - China Mobile generates virtually all of its revenue at home - the move comes as the US'/99 is set to impose tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods on Friday, with China vowing to retaliate in kind.

The move to block the firm comes amid growing trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.

However, China's foreign ministry spokesperson responded to a question about the company during a briefing and said that China urged the relevant side in the U.S.to end zero sum games and Cold War thinking.

The FCC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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.

According to the NTIA statement, China Mobile is subject to "exploitation, influence and control" by the Chinese government, and in the "current national security environment" this would pose "substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks".

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

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

Still, the 205-page, heavily redacted document offered a window into the United States government's assessment of national security risks of doing business with Chinese entities, especially one with ties to the Chinese government as close as China Mobile's and in an industry as critical as telecommunications. Phone calls or other communications from USA government agencies to global destinations could pass through China Mobile's network, even if the agencies are not customers of the operator, according to the filing.

David Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department and head of the National Telecommunications Information Agency, signed off on the recommendation against granting China Mobile's license request. The company is owned by the Chinese government.

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