Flags of the US and China (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )
The FCC officials voted 4-0 to initiate a probe that could make these companies unable to work within the US
Failure to prove that they were not under "undue influence" from Beijing, three Chinese state-owned telecommunications companies could be barred to operate in the United States.
China Unicom America, Pacific Networks, and ComNet had failed to prove that their work in the US was not subject to "undue influence" from China, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said, as quoted by news agency AFP on Wednesday.
The FCC officials voted 4-0 to initiate a probe that could make these companies unable to work within the US.
"The threat to our networks from entities aligned with Communist China is one that we must address head on, and I am pleased that the FCC continues to show the strength and resolve necessary to meet this menace," FCC commissioner Brendan Carr in a statement said.
"When it comes to Communist China, we have set a high bar for action over the last few years," he added.
The move is a further jolt to these firms after a January decision by the New York Stock Exchange to ban them from trading.
Following the FCC's move, China Unicom in a statement stressed that it has never acted illegally and hoped a "thorough, fair and fact-based review of the company’s conduct by the FCC," as reported by Bloomberg.