The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pushed a US appeals court to reject China Telecom’s attempts to continue its operations in the country, after the regulator last month revoked the operator’s licence to offer telecoms services through its local subsidiary.
In a filing, the FCC and US Department of Justice’s legal representatives told the court China Telecom “has no likelihood of succeeding on its claims”.
The FCC argued China Telecom had not addressed evidence against claims it was a national security threat and had centred its appeal on “the Commission’s procedures”.
China Telecom filed an appeal earlier this month against the FCC over its decision to annul its rights to offer domestic and international telecoms services, stating it needed an answer from the court by 4 December so it could inform its customers.
Under the FCC’s order, it is expected to discontinue US services by early January 2022.
China Telecom Americas has had authorisation to operate in the US for almost 20 years, while it also provides services to Chinese government facilities in the country.
The FCC reiterated it had found the company “is subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government”, raising significant risks for the company and the government to disrupt and misroute US communications and allow them to engage “in espionage and other harmful activities”.
The US also began efforts to revoke China Unicom’s rights to operate in the country in March 2021.