The US objected to the undersea cable connecting Hong Kong over concerns about Chinese companies

US officials are trying to block the undersea fiber optic project between Google, Facebook and a Chinese partner due to security concerns. ...


US officials are trying to block the undersea fiber optic project between Google, Facebook and a Chinese partner due to security concerns.
The move is expected to change the current rules for the transmission of Internet data between the US and China, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The 12,800 km long fiber optic cable named Pacific Light Cable Network has been installed throughout the seabed from Hong Kong to Los Angeles by ships. This promises to bring faster connectivity across the Pacific.

The project, which is being implemented under a temporary license, will expire in September, but is at risk of being stopped because it is not allowed by the US inter-ministerial committee (often referred to as the Telecommunications Commission).

The US Department of Justice, represented on the committee, protested the project due to concerns about its Chinese counterpart - telecommunications company Dr. Peng is based in Beijing - as well as about Hong Kong being the reception station on the other end. According to some officials know about the review process.


The 12,800 km optical fiber line, called Pacific Light Cable Network, connects Hong Kong to Los Angeles. Photo: Submarine Cable Networks.
This committee often approves past cable projects in the past, including those between the United States and mainland China or those carried out by state-owned Chinese companies. As long as the committee finds that the US receiving station is secured enough to prevent foreign governments from eavesdropping.

If the US side refuses to license the Pacific Light cable, this will be the first time a submarine cable has been denied by the United States for security reasons, and is a sign that Washington is tightening management of its projects. China.

The opposition from the US Department of Justice also shows skepticism about China's ambition amid the two countries' growing tensions over trade and intense technology competition.

Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of exports between the two countries have been taxed and Washington has many strategies to increase its presence in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region in general, to reverse the rising influence. Beijing's economy and military.

The United States is also campaigning against China's leading technology conglomerate Huawei, seeking ways to ban the company from the race for a new generation of 5G networks, while limiting Huawei's role in submarine cables. is transmitting almost all of the world's Internet data.

With its path, the Pacific Light submarine cable project costs at least $ 300 million in construction costs, according to some consultants of underground cable companies. Google and Facebook over the past decade have spent money installing similar cables to serve the growing data flow between the US and Asia.



With its path, the Pacific Light submarine cable project costs at least US $ 300 million in construction costs. Artwork: The Australian.
When Pacific Light is completed, these companies will have greater bandwidth directly connecting to Hong Kong. It is the regional hub for the Internet with access to emerging markets such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, as well as mainland China.

Concerns of the Telecommunications Commission about the project of Dr. Group Peng revolved around the company being connected to the Chinese government and Hong Kong's increasing autonomy. This is the problem that has led to protests against Beijing throughout the SEZ for months.

Previously, the cable connecting to Hong Kong was considered more secure than connecting to mainland China. But now that difference is no longer there, officials told the Wall Street Journal.

Cable supporters argue that if the project is approved, the US side will have better surveillance authority. Even if the project is rejected, the increased demand for data transmission will still lead to other cables but not under the control of the United States.

Last year, for the first time, the Telecommunications Commission proposed stopping a Chinese app from providing services in the United States because of national security concerns. In May this year, the Federal Telecommunications Commission (FCC) formally implemented the proposal, blocking the application of China Mobile Ltd. Although previously approved applications from other Chinese companies such as China Telecom and China Unicom.


About 380 underground cables are operating to transmit most of the world's intercontinental Internet data, through about 1,000 receiving stations. Photo: Wall Street Journal.

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High Tech Brain: The US objected to the undersea cable connecting Hong Kong over concerns about Chinese companies
The US objected to the undersea cable connecting Hong Kong over concerns about Chinese companies
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