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Germany may impose de facto Huawei 5G ban

Sunday 10 February 2019 03:16 PM

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Germany will not formally ban technology made by controversial Chinese firm Huawei from its next generation (5G) mobile networks, Handelsblatt has learned from a number of government sources.

However, companies bidding to build and operate the 5G networks are being strongly discouraged from using Huawei equipment, which could amount to an effective ban.

Debate about the Huawei situation has been ongoing for weeks within government, as an increasing number of countries, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, have formally banned Huawei technology. Intelligence agencies fear that Huawei technology could come with built-in capacities to enable Beijing to more easily spy on telecommunications traffic.
Germany’s foreign ministry shares the fears but is also anxious not to alienate China, a hugely important export market for German companies. It also fears that banning Chinese technology could delay the development of Germany’s 5G infrastructure, at a time when industry is pressing for the networks to be completed as soon as possible. These concerns have been building ahead of the 5G frequency auction in March