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Germany opts to include Huawei for building of 5G networks

Image credit: reuters

Germany has finished making industry rules for the construction of its upcoming 5G networks and has decided not to exclude Huawei from the list of vendors, against the wishes of the US.

The Chinese tech giant has been hampered by a US decision earlier this year to exclude the firm from working with domestic companies over espionage concerns.

The decision comes amid an escalating trade war between the two countries and the US warned its Western allies that data-sharing agreements could be forfeited if they did not follow suit.

Reuters reports that German government officials have confirmed its security catalogue, which will not bar any single vendor in order to create a level playing field for equipment vendors.

“We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor or any company,” Steffen Seibert, the German government spokesperson, told a news conference.

German operators are all customers of Huawei and have warned that banning the Chinese vendor would add years of delays and billions of dollars in costs to launching 5G networks.

The decision over whether the UK will allow the Chinese firm to participate in building its 5G network is still to be decided, with the Government saying it will make its final verdict in the autumn.

The United States has piled pressure on its allies to shut out Huawei, one of the world's leading telecoms equipment vendors with a global market share of 28 per cent.

Last week, the US pressure was extended to several Chinese AI start-ups including video surveillance firm Hikvision, which the US has also blocked from working with US firms.

Huawei has denied Washington’s allegations, although US officials have argued that under China’s national intelligence law all citizens and companies are required to collaborate in espionage efforts.

With billions of devices, sensors and cameras expected to be hooked up, 5G networks will be far more ubiquitous than their predecessors. At the same time, the fact that 5G networks rely more on software that can be easily updated makes it harder to keep track of cyber threats.

The German rules come after the European Union warned last week of the risk of increased cyber attacks on 5G networks by state-backed actors. A report compiled by member states stopped short, however, of singling out China as a threat.

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