>> Fifty-one billion dollars.>> Donald Trump's taking on the world's largest telecoms company, China Mobile, in his latest push against Beijing. On Monday, the US government moved to block the company from entering its telecommunications market citing national security, they say the state run company poses a risk. They recommend the Federal Communications Commission deny China Mobile's 2011 application to offer services between the US and other countries.
This comes as the clock ticks down on trade tension between Washington and Beijing. The US is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from China on Friday and Beijing is expected to push back with tariffs of its own. This also isn't the first time Trump's targeted Chinese telecoms.
Chinese smartphone giant ZTE was forced to cease major operations after the US slapped it with a ban just a few months ago. China Mobile is less dependent on US parts, so analysts say the impacts may be limited. However, the company's shares fell over 2% on Tuesday, to their lowest in more than four years.
The US government said that its assessment rested on quote, China's record of intelligence activities and economic espionage targeting the US. That echoes a larger fear about China spying on the country including long held suspicion towards yet another tech firm, Huawei. US Senators and spy chiefs warned in February that China was trying to gain access to sensitive US technologies and intellectual property.