Facebook and Google are cancelling plans to connect the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) to Hong Kong after fears were raised over China (via ZDNet).

Pacific Light Cable Network

The PLCN was announced in 2016 and it’s funded in part by Facebook and Google. It’s a high-speed undersea cable network meant to connect Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with other cables going to the Philippines and Taiwan. Google owns the branch connecting to Taiwan, Facebook, owns the branch to the Philippines, and Hong Kong-based company Pacific Light Data Company (PLDC) owned the rest.

In June, Team Telcom, a Department of Justice committee, called on the FCC to cancel the cable going to Hong Kong over increased tensions in the region with China. The worry was that China would tap the cable and spy on the information flowing within.

Facebook and Google agreed to revise the plans and the cables operated by PLDC won’t be in operation. A Google spokesperson said:

We can confirm that the original application for the PLCN cable system has been withdrawn, and a revised application for the US-Taiwan and US-Philippines portions of the system has been submitted. We continue to work through established channels to obtain cable landing licenses for our undersea cables.

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geoduck

So no line to Hong Kong. But there is a line to Taiwan, with an extension to the mainland so if China wanted to spy they could there.
this is all pointless posturing and raising a boogyman for politicians to get votes. Is China a threat, yes. Is this particular gesture pointless, yes.