“There has been mounting evidence—and with it, a growing concern—that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks,” she added.
China Unicom said in a written response to CNN Business that it has complied with “relevant US laws and regulations” in the past two decades, and that the FCC has acted “without any justifiable grounds and without affording required due process.”
China Unicom added that it “would act proactively to protect the rights and interests of the company and its customers.”
China’s foreign ministry on Friday blasted the US move as “a serious violation” of international economic and trade rules.
“The Chinese government supports relevant enterprises in safeguarding their rights and interests in accordance with the law, and will continue to take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, at a press conference in Beijing.
The FCC has also started similar revocation proceedings against two other Chinese companies, Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC.
In recent years, Congress has instructed the FCC to embark on a program to “rip and replace” networking equipment that experts worry could allow foreign telecom firms — or Chinese officials directly — to monitor sensitive US communications. The FCC has also sanctioned firms such as Huawei and ZTE in connection with those bipartisan concerns.
China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom are all state-run businesses and dominate China’s telecoms market.
— CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to this report.