FCC Issues Show Cause Orders For Three Chinese Telecoms

Federal Communications Commission

With a move that could stop their American operations, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) produced show cause orders for three Chinese communication companies. The firms are China Unicom Americas, China Telecom Americas, Pacific Networks Corp and its subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC, Reuters reported.

The show cause orders reportedly discussed the “sophistication and resulting damage of the Chinese government’s involvement in computer intrusions and attacks against the United States.” The orders, however, did not provide further detail, according to the report. The FCC provided approvals to the companies over 10 years ago.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, said per the report, “We simply cannot take a risk and hope for the best when it comes to the security of our networks.” The U.S. Justice Department, and other federal bureaus, had asked earlier in April for the agency to take away the ability for China Telecom to operate in the United States.

As previously noted, Huawei was placed on the U.S. Entity List last year, which is effectively a blacklist tied to U.S. claims that the company’s equipment might allow for spying. Paul Scanlan, chief technology officer of Huawei, said in a past PYMNTS interview that “governments claim that Huawei software is this and that” and China has been decried as having a government that is authoritarian.

Scanlan also contended at the time that 5G, even with government support tailwinds, can bolster competition and efficiency in addition to having a positive effect on the creation of new enterprise and consumer products as well as even a eventually coronavirus vaccine.

He noted that the technology “must be secure, and privacy must be considered, but you also have to have data collected and stored and processed by an AI algorithm of some form — inexpensively and quickly. Then you can start making a difference. That’s something that China has realized and been investing in for the last several years — and investing billions into AI.”