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FCC revokes China Unicom's authorization to operate in U.S

01/27/2022 | 06:19pm EDT
China Unicom's company logo is seen at its branch office in Beijing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday voted to revoke the authorization for China Unicom's U.S. unit to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns.

The 4-0 vote to revoke the authority that had been granted in 2002 is the latest move by the American regulator to bar Chinese telecommunications carriers from the United States because of national security concerns.

The order requires China Unicom Americas to end domestic interstate and international telecommunications services in the United States within 60 days of the order's publication.

The Chinese Embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

A lawyer for the company released a statement from China Unicom that said the FCC decision was "without any justifiable grounds and without affording the required due process. It added that China Unicom "will proactively protect the rights and interests of the company and its customers."

The FCC said China Unicom Americas is ultimately owned and controlled by the Chinese government and provides mobile virtual network operator services and international private leased circuit and Ethernet private line services along with IP transit, cloud and resold services in the United States.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said since the approval "the national security landscape has shifted and there has been mounting evidence - and with it, a growing concern - that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks."

The FCC said China Unicom's "responses were incomplete, misleading, or incorrect."

Rosenworcel noted that last year the FCC published the first-ever list of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. This month, she wrote to the Commerce Department, the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and other agencies in order to update that list.

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said China Unicom "can continue to offer data center services to American consumers" despite the revocation.

He said the FCC and Congress should examine this issue and determine whether the commission needed broader authority to address security concerns posed by the centers.

The FCC began making efforts in March to revoke the authorization for China Unicom, Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet.

In October, the FCC revoked the U.S. authorization for China Telecom (Americas), saying it "is subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government." The Chinese failed to win an appeal of the decision.

In 2019, the FCC rejected China Mobile Ltd's bid to provide U.S. telecommunications services, citing national security risks.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz; Editing by Edmund Blair, Mark Porter, Jonathan Oatis and Bernard Orr)

By David Shepardson and Diane Bartz


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHINA MOBILE LIMITED -0.38% 52.4 Delayed Quote.12.39%
CHINA TELECOM CORPORATION LIMITED 0.35% 2.88 Delayed Quote.10.38%
CHINA UNICOM HONG KONG LIMITED 0.61% 3.67 Delayed Quote.-3.59%
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Financials
Sales 2022 478 B 70 991 M 70 991 M
Net income 2022 28 564 M 4 239 M 4 239 M
Net cash 2022 45 908 M 6 814 M 6 814 M
P/E ratio 2022 7,70x
Yield 2022 8,25%
Capitalization 334 B 49 548 M 49 548 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,60x
EV / Sales 2023 0,54x
Nbr of Employees 278 922
Free-Float 26,7%
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Number of Analysts 21
Last Close Price 2,40 CNY
Average target price 3,53 CNY
Spread / Average Target 46,9%
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Rui Wen Ke Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Zheng Mao Li President, COO & Executive Director
Ying Hui Li Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Fang Han Chairman-Supervisory Board
Er Ming Xu Independent Non-Executive Director
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