Trump administration rejects 2011 China Mobile licence request

3 Jul 2018

The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has issued a surprise statement advising the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject a pending 2011 licence request from China Mobile, which sought to offer telecoms services in the US. David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the Department of Commerce, commented: ‘After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved. Therefore, the Executive Branch of the US government, through the NTIA pursuant to its statutory responsibility to coordinate the presentation of views of the Executive Branch to the FCC, recommends that the FCC deny China Mobile’s Section 214 licence request.’

The development comes amid rising trade tensions between the US and China. In April, the Department of Commerce established that Chinese technology giant ZTE had violated trade bans with North Korea and Iran, and the company was prohibited from buying parts from US suppliers. The move forced the Chinese vendor to suspend major operations, and threatened the future of its business, until a USD1.4 billion settlement was agreed last month.

TeleGeography notes that the NTIA – part of the US Department of Commerce – is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecoms and information policy issues.