Facebook halts project for undersea data cable to HK

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Facebook has decided to halt its efforts to build a trans-Pacific undersea cable that would have connected California and Hong Kong, due to tensions between the United States (US) and China.

“Due to ongoing concerns from the US government about direct communication links between the US and Hong Kong, we have decided to withdraw our Federal Communications Commission (FCC) application,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP on Wednesday.

“We look forward to working with all the parties to reconfigure the system to meet the concerns of the US government,” the spokesperson added.

The social networking giant and several telecom companies filed their first construction permit in 2018, to connect two sites in California to Hong Kong.

The project was supposed to facilitate communications through fibre optics capable of carrying large volumes of data with very low waiting times.

But Washington resisted, because of perceived potential national security risks regarding China, which has tightened its control over Hong Kong.