BT’s international division has received a major boost by
becoming the first international telco to receive national telecoms
licences from the China Ministry of Industry and Information
The company has received nationwide virtual private network
(VPN) and Internet service provider (ISP) “value added”
licences that will allow an entity called BT China Communications
Limited to directly sell and bill services to customers in the
country in local currency.
This, BT says, is a boost for its multinational customers who
need secure and reliable local connectivity services in order to
expand in the country.
“We are delighted with this major benefit for our
customers.,” said Bas Burger, CEO of BT Global Services (BTGS).
“Thanks to cooperation between the governments of the PRC and the
UK, we are now able to offer a nationwide service in China that can
be scaled up to match the ambitions and needs of our
“Being able to service and bill locally significantly
simplifies the process of delivering connectivity and other
communication services. It is what our customers expect from us and
we are very grateful for the opportunity to do this as of
The announcement comes amid a backdrop of growing trade tensions
between the US and China and with several Western governments
re-examining the role of Shenzhen-based mobile giant Huawei’s
role in their telecommunications infrastructure.
Some fear that Huawei would be required to install backdoors in
its equipment that would facilitate Chinese state-sponsored
espionage – allegations Huawei has repeatedly denied. BT itself
is removing Huawei’s kit from EE’s core 4G network and will
only use the company’s radio access network (RAN) gear in its 5G
The UK government however sees the licences as a triumph for its
international trade efforts.
“I am very pleased that close cooperation between the UK and
Chinese governments has resulted in BT securing these licences
which will enable it to operate across the country,” declared
Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary.
Source: FS – All Tech News 2
BT gets Chinese telecoms licence