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.