Briefing: BT becomes first foreign telecom to be given Chinese license

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BT becomes first foreign telecoms firm to secure Chinese license – CGTN

What happened: BT Group, formerly British Telecom, announced last week that it has become the first international telecom to receive nationwide operating licenses from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. BT already has operations in China but the new licenses will allow a new company, BT China Communications Limited, to sell directly to local customers and bill in Chinese currency. Two licenses are part of the new deal: a domestic IP-VPN license and a nationwide ISP license.

Why it’s important: The UK previously blocked Huawei from taking part in its 5G network infrastructure bids. BT has also announced plans to remove Huawei’s existing 4G network equipment in the next two years. This deal marks a significant step for a foreign telecom, showing encouragement towards foreign investment in the market, especially coming at a time with increased tensions between Chinese and foreign telecommunication companies.