Germany reportedly weighing Huawei 5G ban. China says it is ‘puzzled’



Huawei is back in the spotlight in Europe after a report suggested Germany may ban some equipment from the Chinese telecommunications giant in its 5G network.

Pau Barrena | AFP | Getty Images

China’s embassy in Germany said it is “puzzled and strongly dissatisfied” after a report suggested Berlin is planning to ban some equipment from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE in its 5G telecommunications networks on national security grounds.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing a government source, that Germany is considering banning certain components from Chinese firms in its mobile networks.

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A paper by the German interior ministry which was obtained by Reuters said a specific supplier could be banned from providing critical components if it were deemed to be directly or indirectly controlled by the government of another state.

If the rules came into effect, it could mean ripping out equipment that is already installed in networks and replacing it with other suppliers, an interior ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

Huawei has been accused by a number of governments, in particular the U.S., of posing a national security threat. Washington has alleged that Huawei has close ties to China’s communist government and that the company’s networking gear could be used to send data on U.S. citizens to authorities in Beijing.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it poses a national security threat.

China response

A spokesperson for China’s embassy in Germany said late Tuesday that Huawei has operated in compliance with laws and regulations in the country and hit back at Germany’s stance, as reported by Reuters.

“In recent years, countries and anti-China forces have continued to attempt to smear Huawei with trumped-up charges, but there has never been any evidence that Huawei equipment and components pose security risks,” the spokesperson said, according to a Google translation.

“If the report is true, the Chinese side is very puzzled and strongly dissatisfied with the hasty decision made by the relevant German government department without factual basis.”

The embassy spokesperson claimed that any ban 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 over 20 years.

“Huawei believes that there should 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, U.S.

What is 5G?


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