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Washington moves to block China Mobile from US market

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The US Commerce Department recommended against approval of China Mobile ’ s seven year old application to enter the domestic market on Monday , citing national security concerns .

The move marked the latest blast from the US under President Donald Trump in its growing trade dispute with China .

US tariffs against billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods are set to kick in on Friday and China has vowed to retaliate.

“ After significant engagement with China Mobile , concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved , ” Commerce Department assistant secretary David Redl said in a Monday statement.

He added the department’ s National Telecommunications and Information Administration recommended the Federal Communications Commission turn down China Mobile ’ s application to offer voice traffic between the US and other countries .

The Trump administration has also moved to punish Chinese telecoms firm ZTE , banning US companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to the company for seven years .

US officials imposed the ban because of what they said were false statements by the firm regarding the illegal sale of goods to Iran and North Korea .

ZTE pleaded guilty to those charges in March last year and was hit with $ 1 . 2 billion in fines .

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Last month the Trump administration gave ZTE a lifeline by easing sanctions against the firm in exchange for a further $ 1 . 4 billion in penalties , although the US Senate has defied Trump by voting to reimpose the ban .

AFP

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