A General Electric subsidiary planned to team up with state-owned Citic Group to privatize Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings, but the Bush administration has blocked the bid. During the term of the former Bush, the US Congress “passed laws banning satellite exports to China” with two exceptions: evidence of political and human rights reforms or if the deal was in the national interest of the US. Apparently the Citic-GE plan did not satisfy either of the exceptions.
Asia Sat is the leading regional satellite operator for Asia Pacific, serving more thn two-thirds of the world’s population with its three satellites. A fourth was contracted out to a US firm and is expected to laungh next year, although it is unclear what effect this recent move by the US government will have on that plan.