Huawei is back in the spotlight in Europe after a report suggested Germany could ban some of the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment from its 5G networks.
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China’s embassy in Germany said it was “shocked and strongly dissatisfied” after a report that Berlin is planning to ban some equipment from Chinese firm Huawei and Huawei. ZTE in its 5G telecommunications network on grounds of national security.
on Tuesday, reuters Germany is considering banning some components from Chinese companies in its mobile networks, citing a government source.
A paper from the German Interior Ministry obtained by Reuters said a specific supplier could be barred from providing critical components if it is believed to be controlled, directly or indirectly, by the government of another state.
An interior ministry spokesman told Reuters that if the rules go into effect, it could mean removing equipment already installed in the network and replacing it with other suppliers.
Huawei has been accused by several governments, especially the US posing a threat to national security, washington is charged That Huawei has close ties to China’s communist government and that the company’s networking gear could be used to send data on US citizens to authorities in Beijing.
Huawei has refused repeatedly that it is a threat to national security.
A spokesman for China’s embassy in Germany said late on Tuesday that Huawei acted in compliance with laws and regulations in the country and countered Germany’s stance, as reported by Reuters.
According to Google Translate, the spokesperson said, “In recent years, countries and anti-China forces have continued to attempt to discredit Huawei with trumped-up accusations, but there is no evidence that Huawei equipment and components pose a security risk.” ,
“If the report is true, the Chinese side is deeply shocked and deeply dissatisfied with the hasty decision made by the relevant German government department without factual basis.”
The embassy spokesperson claimed that any restriction of Chinese equipment in telecommunications networks “violates economic laws and the principle of fair competition.”
A Huawei spokesperson told CNBC that the company has a “strong security record” in Germany and globally for more than 20 years.
“Huawei believes there should be an objective and factual discussion about how risks in cyberspace can be mitigated,” the spokesperson said.
ZTE did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Germany follows UK, US
Germany’s position on Huawei has been in limbo ever since the US under the Donald Trump administration began cracking down on the telecom equipment giant.
Europe’s biggest economy has sought a balancing act between maintaining trade ties with China while weighing geopolitical considerations.
Germany has focused on increasing commercial ties with China in recent months, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. However, there has been increased pressure from the US to take a tougher stance on Beijing on the technology.
Any decision to block Huawei from its 5G network will mark a major change in the country from 2019 Said she would not take such a step, Since then, Germany has been on hold regarding the Huawei ban as US pressure has increased and other countries have moved to block the Chinese firm’s equipment in their networks.
“Under Angela Merkel, Germany consistently downplayed the risks posed by the country’s close economic ties with China. This was particularly evident in the debate over 5G, where years of political indecisiveness resulted in Huawei gaining a large market share. Took it,” Noah Barkin, managing editor of the China practice at research firm Rhodium Group, told CNBC.
“The current government is in the midst of developing a new approach to China, focused on reducing dependence and increasing economic resilience.”
5G is a major technology The thrust comes amid a wider battle between the US and China over technological supremacy. 5G, the latest standard for mobile internet, is seen as key to supporting next-generation infrastructure such as driverless cars, but also has potential military applications.
In 2019, Huawei was placed on a US blacklist called the Entity List, It banned US companies from exporting certain technologies to Huawei. In 2020, the US moves to cut Huawei off key chip supplies Need it for your Smartphone. Due to this the company’s mobile business got destroyed.
Washington has sought to persuade other governments to block Huawei. In 2020, Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE gear in its 5G network.
That same year, UK government also announced banned Huawei equipment from its 5G networks and told carriers they would need to remove gear from the Chinese vendor from their infrastructure by 2027.
It is unclear whether Germany’s rules will go that far. But if it does, it would be a costly endeavor that would take a long time to complete, according to Barkin.
“Whether the government decides to exclude Chinese suppliers from the network is not yet clear, it will take the better part of the next decade to do so,” Barkin said.