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US bans Chinese telecom giant over spying

China Unicom has become the latest Chinese telecoms giant to be banned from the US over “significant” national security and espionage concerns.

According to the BBC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it had voted unanimously to revoke authorisation for the company’s American unit to operate in the US.

The firm must stop providing telecoms services in America within 60 days.

The announcement comes after larger rival China Telecom had its license to operate in the US revoked in October.

“There has been mounting evidence – and with it, a growing concern – that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks,” FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

China Unicom told the BBC its American unit “has a good record of complying with relevant US laws and regulations and providing telecommunication services and solutions as a reliable partner of its customers in the past two decades”.

“China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited will closely follow the development of the situation,” it added.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

Chinese technology and telecoms firms have been targeted in recent years by US authorities over national security concerns.

Writing by Muzha Kucha