CHINA MOBILE is the latest big player to fall foul of the Trump administration, with reports that it could be banned from the US for the same non-specific espionage reasons.
A week after ZTE paid a billion dollars and appointed a new board of directors with which to curry favour to the hairy citrus one, and get parts for their blocked toilets, it now seems that China's biggest telecoms company, you know, the state-owned one, is next in Trump's cross-hair(plug)s.
China Mobile has been expanding its reach to the international stage. Last year it opened an MVNO in the UK, allowing cheap calls back to the motherland.
It had planned something similar for the US but this week (though not a direct to consumer offering apparently, but aimed at the enterprise sector) but its application was blocked following a recommendation from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
"Because China Mobile is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government, the Executive Branch believes that granting China Mobile's application ... would produce substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks," said its report to the FCC, as obtained by CNN.
It warns that Chinese spying could be facilitated by the proposals and that wouldn't be limited to customers of the China Mobile proposed service, but anything that the network touched - and given that could include US businesses, that's potentially bigger than the sum of its prats.
After action taken against Huawei and ZTE, and the recent 25 per cent tariff on gadgets which are claimed to be direct counterfeits of US intellectual property, its becoming clearer that the US is definitely in no rush to make it easy for Chinese tech to get a foothold in its borders.
Which is slightly naive because China is already involved in the product of most tech and if they wanted to put in backdoors, they could any time they like. Yes, Mr Trump, even to your phone that the spooks keep nagging you to get rid of. μ
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