The plan to acquire cloud-based contact center specialist Five9 is temporarily on hold, as US justice has opened an investigation into a possible security risk. This is what the Wall Street Journal reports. The US government is concerned that the acquisition will put US technology in Chinese hands because of Zoom’s ties to China.
Earlier this year Video conferencing specialist Zoom has been announced to be planning to acquire cloud-based contact center specialist Five9. Zoom has no less than 12.5 billion euros ($ 14.7 billion) for this. With the acquisition, Zoom aims to offer its customers more options for communication and customer interaction.
Five9 offers a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution to provide customers with a reliable, secure, compliant and scalable contact center environment. In addition, the CCaaS solution gives customers more options to improve the customer experience.
Research on links with China
Now American justice threatens to put the wrench in the wheels, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to the economic document, the US government is concerned that the acquisition poses certain risks to national security and law enforcement in the United States.
More specifically, it concerns the “relationship with a foreign power and foreign property”. The American legal authorities refer to the possible links that Zoom has with China. The videoconferencing specialist has a large part of its developers in China and its CEO Eric Yuan was also born there, but he has a US passport.
Several inquiries have been carried out in the past into links with the Beijing government. For example, it has already been discovered that the company stores encryption keys and other forms of data in China. Zoom has already promised to improve this.
Part of the American strategy
Zoom’s Chinese links investigation was sparked by Five9’s need for a special permit. The US regulator FCC must license the company to link certain US national networks to international networks.
Since the Trump administration, the US government has increasingly investigated the potential security risks of US technology that could be misused by China in particular. Another example is the research on Five9.
It remains to be seen whether the investigation by the American authorities will cause delays or even lead to the rejection of the proposed acquisition by Zoom. In a response, Zoom said the acquisition could still be finalized early next year.
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