China Mobile ban in US likely with national security fears cited

Back in 2011, China Mobile took the first legal step to make its entrance in the US market, one that would allow it to offer wireless phone service to individuals within the nation. The Section 214 license application has been with the FCC for years, the agency having been tasked to seek info from the Executive Branch over whether authorizing the carrier would be "in the public interest of the US." That answer is officially no.

The US government has increasingly expressed concerns over China's potential use of consumer technology to spy on the nation, those concerns covering everything from Chinese smartphones to Chinese drones.

We've seen leaked government documents revealing some of these concerns, and the feds previously detailed worries about phone makers ZTE and Huawei, the latter of which has struggled to break into the market due in large part to potential security issues.

US Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information David J. Real had this to say on the matter:

After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to U.S. law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved. Therefore, the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration pursuant to its statutory responsibility to coordinate the presentation of views of the Executive Branch to the FCC, recommends that the FCC deny China Mobile's Section 214 license request.

The statement indicates the US government has presented issues to China Mobile that could potentially have been addressed, but details aren't provided. After more than half a decade, the FCC has its official response from the Executive Branch, which has advised it to deny the application, blocking the carrier's attempt to enter the US market.