ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro said Saturday the operations of Dito Telecommunity Corporation, the third telco player in the country, could be affected if China Telecom (Americas) Corp. is eventually banned in the United States.
China Telecommunications Corporation, a Chinese state-owned company and the parent company of China Telecom Corporation, Limited to which China Telecom Americas is affiliated as a subsidiary, is the second biggest stakeholder of Dito with a 39.92 percent stake.
In a radio interview, Castro expressed belief that the impending revocation and termination of the authorizations granted to China Telecom Americas will affect its ability to course interconnecting activities in the US, specifically roaming connections from the Filipino subscribers of DITO who may wish to make calls or SMS while overseas.
"Oo nga. Oo, tama. Magkakaroon din ng epekto ‘yan," said Castro in reply to a question.
Castro, a member of the Makabayan bloc in Congress, said the ban will also affect use of Dito’s roadband or mobile data network to access US-based websites.
"Oo 'noh. Eto ‘yung US-based website na konektado doon sa China Telecom, meron ding epekto ito at magkakaroon ng access. Tingin ko kung may ganyan kung iba-ban ‘yan, so baka hindi na,” said Castro.
China Telecom is among the Chinese companies set to be banned by the US due to national security threats.
The US Federal Communications Commission stressed that China Telecom is owned by the Chinese government and is comtrolled by the Communist Party of China.
In December 2020 and March 2021, the FCC moved forward with proceedings to revoke the existing authorization for China Telecom Americas.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that aside from the ownership issue, security agencies insisted that China Telecom failed to follow cybersecurity and privacy laws, thus allowing Chinese state-sponsored economic espionage and disruption of U.S. communications traffic.
“The Chinese government intends to surveil persons within our borders, for government security, for spying advantage, as well as for intellectual property and an industrial or business,” Pai said.