FCC chairman Pai opposes China Mobile's request to operate in the U.S.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced today that he opposes an application from China Mobile to offer service in the U.S. The FCC will vote on the application during a meeting to be held May 9th. The filing was submitted to the FCC in September 2011 by China Mobile USA, a stateside subsidiary of the Chinese firm. The company seeks to provide "Global or Limited Global Facilities-Based Service" that would offer resale service between U.S. and international wireless users.
Considering that the U.S. government has considered Huawei and ZTE to be national security risks, Pai's announcement is not surprising. Because the communist Chinese government can demand that a tech firm spy on its behalf, U.S. officials worry that equipment from the two firms contain back doors ready to pass along information from American consumers and corporations to Beijing. This fear of spying on behalf of the government in China played a big part in Pai's opposition to the application.
The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration advises the president on matters involving telecommunications. Last year, the agency said that allowing China Mobile to operate in the states "would pose unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks."