Reports Say Huawei Could Be Excluded From Germany’s 5G Build Up Auction

According to a report published in the Handelsblatt newspaper, with the aim of keeping Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturer, the largest in the world, away from participating in the bidding process for the construction of the state of the art 5G network in Germany, the government there is trying to find out stricter security requirements and other ways that could lead to it.

One of the considerations is setting security standards that Huawei could not achieve and that is being actively considered by government officials, said the report in Handelsblatt citing government sources. Such a measure would effectively keep Huawei away from participation. Also under consideration are measures to bring in changes to the German telecommunications law but that would be the last resort, the report also mentioned.

This situation of the German government is very different from what it had said in October last year when it had told its lawmakers that it believed that were was no legal basis which can be used to keep away any vendor from participating in the upcoming 5G auction. Those comments were made after the government received some warnings about Huawei form the US government.

However, Handelsblatt reported that in a more recent response, the government told its lawmakers that the issue of safety and security of 5G networks was “extremely relevant”, and the government would guide its upcoming decisions.

Earlier last year, the US government had approached governments and companies in allied countries warning them of the threat to national security from use of Huawei equipment in its telecommunication networks. The US believes that Huawei as a company has very close links with the Chinese state and that the equipment supplied by Huawei could possibly have “back doors” which could be used for espionage by Chinese agencies.

In December of 2018, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom announced that it would review its vendor strategy. In the3 same month, France’s Orange also announced that the Chinese company would not be engaged in the construction of the 5G network in France.

The change in the stance of the national market leaders of both the countries and considering that both the companies are partly state owned was an interesting development and came after a number of US allies including Australia, decided not to include Huawei to supply equipment for the building of the next generation 5G mobile telecommunication networks there.

Hiawei has repeatedly denounced the charges of its equipment possibly being used for spying by China.  The arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada for possible extradition to the United States has laso heightened the tensions surrounding the company.

Huawei had never received a request from a government to transmit information in violation of any regulations, Handelsblatt quoted Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei as saying. “I love my country, I support the Communist Party, but I would never do anything that would harm another country in the world,” it quoted him as saying.

(Adapted from Reuters.com)

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