Huawei can’t seem to catch a break
recently, with the US continuing to add pressure on the company that has been blocked
from 5G networks in various nations around the world. The latest state of
affairs comes from the US State Department, which has noted that it sees the
European Union as its ‘top priority’ in a global effort to convince allies not
to buy Huawei equipment.
Despite the American campaign, many
countries in the EU are not yet ready to trigger a strict ban on Huawei. One
such nation is Germany; where, according to Reuters, ministers are meeting
today to discuss steps to safeguard the security of its 5G network. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel has stressed that it’s important to receive reassurance from
Huawei that it would not hand data to the Chinese state, with the firm likely
to be barred from taking part in the construction of the country’s 5G network
before giving that reassurance. Many in Germany are resistant to an outright
ban on the firm, however, with issues ranging from the company’s exclusion
resulting in higher costs involved with the roll-out of 5G, as well as the fact
that China could retaliate.
The United States is not content
to let the issue lie; the country’s officials have just held meetings with the European
Commission and the Belgian government in Brussels about the risks posed with
using Huawei equipment, and is now set to take that message to other European
capitals. The US believes that if its allies use equipment provided by a
Chinese firm, whether it’s ZTE or Huawei, then it directly endangers the national
security of the United States. That’s despite only minimal evidence so far that
Huawei’s equipment has vulnerabilities.
While Germany may have signalled
concerns with Huawei, the country may end up having its hand forced. According
to Reuters, the EU executive is currently considering proposals that would ban
Huawei from 5G networks, although that could be some way off.