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China's Huawei faces new setbacks in Europe's telecom market

This would also cost Europe tens of billions of dollars as the region looks to build up '5G' networks

AP/PTI  |  London 


The US dispute with China over a ban on tech giant is spilling over to Europe, the company’s biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

Some European governments and telecom are following the US’s lead in questioning whether using for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

Bans in Europe could significantly increase the financial pressures on

They would also cost Europe tens of billions of dollars as the region looks to build up ‘5G’ networks, which are meant to support a vast expansion in internet-connected things, from self-driving cars to factory robots and remote surgery.

“Europe is still divided over Huawei, but the trendline is moving in a fairly clear direction” as the US exerts pressure on allies to block it, said Thorsten Benner, director of the Berlin-based think tank.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei intensified after its chief financial officer, who is also the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with US accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran.

Huawei has been blocked in the US since 2012, when a report found it was a security risk and recommended that the government and private stop buying its network equipment.

Germany’s said last week it “takes the global discussion about the security of network elements from Chinese manufacturers very seriously”. The company said it uses multiple to build its network, including Ericsson, and Cisco.

“Nevertheless, we are currently reevaluating our procurement strategy,” it said.

The statement is significant because until recently it had been one of Huawei's ‘biggest cheerleaders’ based on its cheap and reliable equipment, said Benner.

First Published: Mon, December 24 2018. 01:21 IST