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Germany refuses to ban Huawei from 5G networks

Germany has refused to exclude the Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei from its 5G networks.

The German government’s chief spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, has confirmed that the country is “not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company”, despite US pressure to do so.

The news comes after the European Union warned earlier this month that it had concerns about 5G suppliers from hostile countries, but did not explicitly name Huawei or seek to ban its equipment.

The US has put pressure on its allies to drop support for Huawei’s 5G telecoms kit, amid concerns about the company’s alleged links to Beijing, and Chinese cyber security rules which compel companies to support law enforcement agencies.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it would compromise user privacy and claims that it has been a victim of the US-China trade war. In a statement, Huawei said it welcomed the German government’s decision: “Politicising cyber-security will only hinder technology development and social progress while doing nothing to address the security challenges all countries face.

“Huawei will continue to work openly with regulators, customers, and industry organisations to ensure that mobile networks are secure. Over the past 30 years, we have served more than three billion people around the world, and we have maintained a strong track record in security throughout.”

The UK had been expected to publish its verdict on Huawei in July, but postponed the decision. As NS Tech reported at the time, Jeremy Wright – the then culture secretary – told parliament that the government was waiting to assess the impact of new US rules on Huawei’s American suppliers before making a decision.

Wright revealed that the UK had “sought clarity on [the] extent and implications [of the trade restrictions] but the position is not yet entirely clear”: “Until it is we have concluded it would be wrong to make specific decisions in relation to Huawei but we will do so as soon as possible.”