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China Mobile Caught in Political Crossfire in US

China Mobile’s application to offer telecom services in the U.S. has been blocked by the government at a time of growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The world’s largest mobile operator applied for a U.S. licence as long ago as 2011 and on Monday U.S. authorities finally ruled against it, citing national security concerns.

“After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to U.S. law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved,” the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said, in a statement.

It went on to explain that it has therefore recommended that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deny China Mobile’s licence request.

Like its main domestic rivals, China Mobile is state-owned.

The decision comes against a backdrop of ongoing trade discord between the U.S. and China and at a time when major Chinese equipment makers Huawei and ZTE are frequently being called into question regarding their U.S.-related activities.- Total Telecom

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