WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on
Thursday declined China Telecom Corp's emergency bid
to halt a U.S. Federal Communications Commission order
withdrawing its authority to provide services in the United
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District Columbia rejected the bid by the U.S. arm of China
Telecom to temporarily block the FCC order, which takes effect
in early January, pending a full review of its legal challenge.
China Telecom had warned it must notify U.S. customers of
the decision by Saturday and said that without a temporary halt
to the FCC action, it "will be forced to cease significant
operations, irreparably harming its business, reputation, and
The court said it would issue a schedule to consider the
legal arguments. But that is likely to take months.
The carrier, which did not immediately comment on Thursday,
was ordered by the FCC on Oct. 26 to discontinue U.S. services
by early January.
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
China Telecom, which has been authorized for 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 and warned the FCC action would force it "to end its
entire resold mobile resale service in the U.S."
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 to deny state-owned Chinese
telecom firm China Mobile Ltd the right to provide
Last year, the FCC designated Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and
ZTE Corp as national security threats to
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)