back to article FCC moves forward with plan to ban three Chinese telcos from American market

America's telecom market federal regulator, the FCC, today initiated the final step in a booting three Chinese telcos from the Land of the Free, saying they had failed to allay national security concerns. The announcement follows a decision by the communications watchdog in December last year to begin a proceeding to determine …

  1. ITS Retired

    When are we going to be getting some adults in charge in our government?

    It's past being embarrassing to admit to be an American anymore.

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: When are we going to be getting some adults in charge in our government?

      Not sure where your problem lies. American companies (or any other non-Chinese companies) are not allowed to setup in business on their own in China, and certainly not telecommunication companies. If it was a level playing field, I could agree with you, but the Chinese government seems to keep getting away with unfair business practices.

  2. HildyJ Silver badge


    Other than selling their American business to Verizon, what could they have possibly done to prevent this?

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Worthless effort

    `tis a worthless effort.

    Look out the Long Beach and San Francisco Bay, how many mega-container ships are carrying goods originating from the People's Republic of China?

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Worthless effort

      1) Building half of a wall is only a "worthless effort" if you have no willingness or intent to complete the job.

      2) Stopping shipping containers is a MUCH simpler thing than ripping out networks.

  4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    How much business did they do here anyway?

    (I'm laying aside the political aspects of this, and just looking at the practical aspects.)

    I wonder how much ComNet, Pacific Networks, or China Unicom hardware there is here in the states anyway? I've heard of ZTE and Huawei, but ZTE did very few phone or tablet sales here, and none of the big cell cos users Huawei equipment. I haven't heard of ComNet or Pacific Networks at all; and I've heard of China Unicom, but in terms of if I went to China, my phone could roam on China Unicom, not in terms of selling any equipment here.

    There was some ZTE and Huawei equipment running here mostly among some wireless internet providers; these WISPs use a variety of technologies, in general the site equipment and CPE (customer premises equipment) are same-brand. In the distant past Motorola Canopy at 900mhz was common (not sure what technology this used, it was apparently good for up to like 2 or 3mpbs per user), more recently there's a variety of bands, and 4G LTE, or 5Gnr, or straight-up cable-modem style DOCSIS on 6mhz channels but going over the air on their licensed band instead of over a coax cable.

    This was a bit of a mess apparently, the order to remove the ZTE and Huawei equipment gave until some date, and (due to COVID-related increases in internet traffic) a fund for WISPs to upgrade their equipment started like a month or two AFTER that deadline. Several WISPs pointed out they were going to have all their equipment replaced, severely depleting their funds, then be inelligible for this fund because all their equipment's just been replaced and is brand new. This was apparently unintentional so I don't know if they worked out some kind of reimbursements from the fund or not.

    1. CrackedNoggin

      Re: How much business did they do here anyway?

      Bloomberg - "China Unicom links to U.S. networks at 11 places where it has installed routers, according to the security agencies’ filing. The company leases circuits from U.S. carriers, and has relationships with AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and CenturyLink Inc., according to the filing."

      Doesn't that mean they are actually handling US communications? (as well as installing equipment).

      (I'm not too clear on this).

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: How much business did they do here anyway?

      The answer is 'effectively none'. These telcos rent capacity from major providers. They exist to service Chinese customers in parts of the US which have a substantial Chinese diaspora.

      This was reported on when the ban was first mooted but there's nothing like recycling a bit of trash when you're looking for a Cold War rampup. Especially if you're light on detail (like, for example, the differece between telco and equipment provider -- if you make people aware of this then they're be scratching their heads wondering why Huawei could be a 'security threat'.

      What I fear all this is doing is showing us up to be incompetent, a bit of a laughing stock in the 'rest of the world's' eyes. (Sure the usual five eyes crew will all tag along but they're not 'the rest of the world'.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like a reciprocal approach to me. There are no US telcos allowed in China. In addtion many US companies are not allowed to do business in China, or if they are have onerous conditions imposed.

    However, to mistake this for a "Large" relative change in security is mistaken. If anything flared up with China, all kinds of little things from screws on up would be in great shortage. Not so in China. "For want of a screw ... "

    > In 2012, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, went on prime-time television to announce that Apple would make a Mac computer in the United States. It would be the first Apple product in years to be manufactured by American workers, and the top-of-the-line Mac Pro would come with an unusual inscription: “Assembled in USA.” But when Apple began making the $3,000 computer in Austin, Tex., it struggled to find enough screws, according to three people who worked on the project and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. In China, Apple relied on factories that can produce vast quantities of custom screws on short notice. In Texas, where they say everything is bigger, it turned out the screw suppliers were not. Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce at most 1,000 screws a day.

    Fortunately it was just a dry run for Apple

    > The screw shortage was one of several problems that postponed sales of the computer for months, the people who worked on the project said. By the time the computer was ready for mass production, Apple had ordered screws from China.

    Not going to be able to order screws from China if any blood is spilt.

    Because of that you can see how the USA >looks< like a vulnerable target to an "optimistic" agressive PLA general.

    But in fact the USA would not fold - and so we could end up with a nuclear war / worldwide starvation / etc.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



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