Along with the current Huawei Ban in the US, national security agencies are now telling the FCC that China Telecom is a national security risk and calling for its US operation license revocation.
China Telecom is a national security risk, US agencies tell FCC
China Telecom is a Chinese telecommunications company. It provides international private lines for American citizens under the CTExcel brand name. The company connects China and the US with voice and data services for businesses and carriers. It has six offices in the US, with its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia and buildings in Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities.
But despite its business locations in the US, security agencies say that China Telecom is a problem. The reason? Like Huawei, China Telecom is a tool of the Beijing Chinese Government. The telecom company belongs to the Chinese state.
"The threat from China Telecom is a reflection of the threat that we see from Chinese telecommunications companies generally.
They are beholden to the government of China both by law and in fact to do its bidding," says national security assistant attorney general John Demers. Demers also says that China Telecom is guilty of some license violations that took place at the time its license was granted.
Chinese companies are required to obey the Beijing Government. The Chinese government could mandate any Chinese company turn over user data. In such a case, China Telecom would have to comply with Chinese law. Considering China Telecom's national loyalty and license violations, it's easy to see why the telecom company is a security risk.
China Telecom goes the way of Huawei
China Telecom isn't the first Chinese company to find itself in hot water. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. is also in trouble in the US. The Shenzhen OEM is currently under a Ban in the States, being kept out of the US's 5G race. US President Donald Trump issued the Ban last May.
Google followed suit quickly, revoking Huawei's Android license. Huawei is still not allowed to use Google's Android software on its new mobile devices. The US Ban has cost Huawei $12 billion. Huawei could lose as much as $30 billion over the next two years as a direct hit.
China Telecom, like Huawei, denies the allegations against it. But national security assistant attorney general John Demers does have a point: Chinese companies tend to present security risks for the other countries outside China in which they operate.
Just this week, Google removed Zoom from its list of approved video conferencing apps because it too, comes from China and poses a risk. Zoom is leaking user data to servers in China due to the internet traffic overload in other countries, the company said.
Not every Chinese company is proving to be a security risk, but it's a strange coincidence that a number of Chinese companies are. Only so many strange coincidences can add up until the coincidental becomes deliberate.