Trade war : US warns Europe against using Huawei

Huawei logo. (Photo: Twitter/@HuaweiMobile)
Huawei logo. (Photo: Twitter/@HuaweiMobile)

Budapest, Feb 12. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned European countries that using technology from Chinese tech giant Huawei could hurt their relationship with Washington.

Speaking in
Hungary, the first stop in a five-nation European tour, Pompeo said on Monday
that the US has an obligation to alert other governments to the risks of
building networks with equipment from the Chinese telecommunications giant,
reports CNN.

“What’s
imperative is that we share with them the things we know about the risks that
Huawei’s presence in their networks presents,” he said.

“Actual
risks to their own people, to the loss of privacy protections for their own
people, the risk that China will use this data in a way that is not in the best
interest of Hungary.”

If countries use Huawei equipment, “it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them”, Pompeo said.

Huawei has
been in bad light after the US Justice Department last month filed a host of
criminal charges, including bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of
technology, against the company and its detained Chief Financial Officer Meng
Wanzhou.

Huawei, one
of the world’s top smartphone makers, has repeatedly denied that its products
pose a national security risk.

It also
maintains that it is a privately owned company with no ties to the Chinese
government.

While Huawei
is largely shut out of the US market, it does significant business in Europe
where it has some 40 per cent of the telecommunications equipment market, CNN
said.

But global
mobile carrier Vodafone said last month that it was suspending the deployment
of Huawei equipment in core networks in Europe, given the political uncertainty
surrounding the Chinese firm.

In the UK,
telecommunications operator BT said it would not buy Huawei equipment for the
core of its 5G network but would continue to use it for other parts such as mobile
base stations.

German
Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that “there are big discussions
about Huawei” in the country.

Outside of
Europe, Australia and New Zealand restricted the company last year from
providing equipment for 5G networks. Canada is considering similar measures.

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