The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has – as expected – denied a petition by China Mobile USA to provide telecom services in the United States, citing security concerns rising from the company’s “ownership and control by the Chinese government.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last month he would vote to deny the application; FCC commissioners on May 9, voted 5-0 to do so.

Granting China Mobile’s application, the FCC said, “would raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks that cannot be addressed through a mitigation agreement between China Mobile and the federal government.”

The Department of Commerce, after discussions with U.S. intelligence agencies, recommended last year that the FCC deny the China Mobile application. The FCC said it that marked the first time that Executive branch agencies recommended denial of that type of application based on national security and law enforcement concerns.

China Mobile joins a growing list of big Chinese communications-sector firms that are being turned away from doing business in the United States. Last year, Congress barred equipment maker Huawei from doing business in the United States, citing similar national security concerns.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.