The US sanctions on China Unicom another political tool with puny business impact: expert
Published: Jan 28, 2022 06:27 PM
China Unicom. Photo: CFP

China Unicom. Photo: CFP

The US Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to revoke the China Unicom's authority to provide telecom services in the US is another political tool wielded against China and Chinese companies under the hyped security threat with an "insignificant" impact on business, insiders said.

While the sanction is expected to produce a very limited disruption to the China Unicom's overall business, given the fact that its business in the US takes less than one percent of the global business, experts warned that the US move on the Chinese company intensifies its bullying image in the international arena and risk to revoke a potential response in return.

An employee with China Unicom said when reached by the Global Times on Friday that they have noticed this news and are currently following up and evaluating the landscape.

The insider said that given the fact that the company's business in the US accounts for less than one percent of its global business, mainly involving roaming business and data center business in the region, indicating the potential impact from the perspective of revenue ratio will be very limited.

The FCC adopted an order ending the ability of China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited to provide domestic interstate and international telecommunications services within the US, according to the FCC notice released on Thursday.

The order on the revocation directs the Chinese company to discontinue any domestic or international services that it provides pursuant to its section 214 authority within 60 days following the release of the order, the notice said.

"This is a consistent attack on Chinese companies by the US, with the ill-intended wish to put pressure on China while attempting to seize the so-called initiative in dealing with China in diplomatic terms," Liu Dingding, an industry analyst, told the Global Times on Friday.

On November 2, the FCC officially announced on its official website its decision to revoke the 214 license for China Telecom Americas, requiring China Telecom Americas to stop its services in the United States within 60 days of the announcement of the decision.

The similar revocation of the license by the FCC also took place on the China Telecom's branch company in the US in November last year.

In March last year, the FCC revoked the authorization of China Unicom Americas Corporation, Pacific Network Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet to provide services in the US, claiming that these telecommunications companies are controlled by the Chinese government and would pose security risks.

In responding to the FCC's decision, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a regular press conference on Friday that the US without listing the specific facts, once again used national security as an excuse to revoke the license of Chinese companies operating in the US, blatantly generalizing the concept of national security.

The US move is an abuse of state power to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies, and a serious breach of international economic and trade rules while damaging the legitimate rights and interests of consumers around the world, including the American public, the spokesperson said.

Zhao noted that the Chinese government supports relevant companies 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 companies.

Experts suggested the US risks to intensify the tensions, which could lead to a similar response from China.

"AT&T also has business in China, and theoretically, we can also shut it down in response, but we don't have to," Xiang Ligang, an independent tech analyst, told the Global times on Friday.