Contrary to the wishes of the government in Washington, Berlin has not excluded Huawei from the list of potential suppliers, but still intends to strengthen its security criteria.
A few months ago, it was reported that the German authorities did not want to start auctions on their 5G network, excluding Huawei. A choice that made the US administration stand out from its hinges, which threatened to reduce collaboration between the two states, if the Chinese manufacturer eventually developed its structures in Germany.
Spokeswoman Steffen Seibert confirmed once again on 14 October at Angela Merkel’s press conference that no action would be taken upstream to ban 5G market access for any company. However, it has been announced that a new list of security criteria will be announced shortly and that candidates will have to comply with it.
Nothing new since March
According to Handelsblatt daily newspaper, Chancellor Angela Merkel herself had asked the federal agency responsible for networks to change its criteria so that the Chinese firm is not excluded. A revelation that Mr. Seibert formally denied at his press conference.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had also spoken out against the exclusion of the Chinese company and warned of economic damage concerning China.
The US urges its allies to renounce Chinese technology in the construction of their 5G networks. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan have introduced corresponding exclusion clauses for Huawei and ZTE.
The German line, which had also represented the government in Washington, on the other hand, set up security rules that would have to be met by all applicant companies. Notably, network operators such as Deutsche Telekom are also pleading for this position.
The USA with blacklist
Huawei has been blacklisted in the US since May because of security concerns (at least the Trump-administration names it that way). The government in Washington fears that Huawei technology could serve as a spy for the People’s Republic. Huawei rejects this allegation. Moreover, there is no evidence of manipulation of the Huawei hardware used.
Technically, the case is considered one of the most significant issues in the trade dispute between the US and China. Recently, the New York Times reported that the US government wanted to lift the embargo on Huawei in parts.
China, unavoidable partner
The stakes of this maintenance are multiple. First of all, as Les Echos reminds us, Berlin wants to avoid compromising relations with China. It is worth noting that the trade between the two states accumulated 100 billion Euros in the first half of 2019.
This makes China a more valuable partner than the US for the German economy. Ditto, the Germanic operators, are strongly related to Huawei, and the Chinese giant has delivered many more pieces of equipment.
Subsequently, this dependence on Huawei does not only concern Germany. Recently, it has been proven that British operators did not intend to move ahead with 5G without Huawei, which embarrassed Her Majesty’s government, not knowing whether it was better to risk offending the American cousin or the Asian giant.
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