An undersea cable backed by Google and Facebook that would link Los Angeles and Hong Kong is running into opposition from the Justice Department which is concerned about a Beijing-based partner’s ties to the Chinese government, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The DOJ opposition raises the stakes in the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China over both trade and national security issues. If the project fails to win regulatory approval, it would be the first undersea data link that failed to get permission to operate because of national security concerns, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Justice Department officials are concerned about the role Dr. Peng Telecom & Media group Co., is playing in the project. The Beijing-based company is China’s fourth largest telecommunications operator. Its CEO, Yang Xueping, is a former government official in Shenzhen, a center for China’s thriving telecommunications industry.
Most of the planned 8,000-mile cable has already been laid between the L.A. and Hong Kong, which promised to increase capacity to carry data between the US. and Asia.