Another Chinese telephone operator controlled by Beijing was expelled from the U.S. on Wednesday, March 16, for espionage risks, according to Fox News.

By unanimous vote, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expelled Pacific Networks Corp. and ComNet (USA) LLC in an effort to curtail the investment operations of companies linked to the Chinese regime in U.S. markets, citing security concerns and China’s increasing military buildup. 

Amid growing tension with Beijing, the U.S. agency refers that Pacific Networks could monitor or disrupt U.S. communications, in addition to stealing data of interest to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

It further asserted that there were no other avenues to pursue that could eliminate those risks while the company was operating in the United States. 

The Biden administration, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, President Donald Trump, who raised it as a serious security concern for the United States, is expanding measures to limit Beijing’s access to technology and investment that would help the Communist regime build up its military strength. 

This FCC ban follows others it has made in the past. In January, it banned China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., in October last year it expelled Telecom Ltd., one of China’s top three state-owned operators, from the U.S. market, and earlier it refused to allow China Mobile Ltd. to enter the U.S. market.

Predictably, the Chinese regime reacted to this new move, accusing the U.S. of harming Chinese companies by alleging security concerns, without providing evidence. 

Regulators are “abusing national power” to harm Chinese companies and ‘severely destroying international economic rules and harming the legitimate rights of consumers including American consumers,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Pacific Networks is owned by Citic Telecom International Holdings Ltd, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange reports.

And in turn, Pacific Networks owns a U.S. company, ComNet (USA) LLC, which provides international services, global calling cards and SIM cards, as well as network management, business phone systems and website services, according to a 2020 U.S. Senate report, Fox reported. 

While Pacific Networks and ComNet previously told the FCC that their operations are not under state control, the FCC said Pacific Networks and ComNet are indirectly controlled by the Chinese regime through their state-owned parent company, Citic Group Corp, according to Bloomberg.

This indicates that the security concerns raised by the US are not mere speculation, and the risk is high, considering that CCP-controlled companies are required by Chinese law to support the regime’s intelligence work, the report said. 

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.