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Trump Blockade of Huawei Fizzles In European 5G Rollout

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Last summer, the Trump administration started a campaign to convince its European allies to bar China’s Huawei from their telecom networks. Bolstered by the success of similar efforts in Australia and New Zealand, the White House sent envoys to European capitals with warnings that Huawei’s gear would open a backdoor for Chinese spies. The U.S. even threatened to cut off intelligence sharing if Europe ignored its advice. So far, not a single European country has banned Huawei. Europe, caught in the middle of the U.S.-China trade war, has sought to balance concerns about growing Chinese influence with a desire to increase business with the region’s second-biggest trading partner. With no ban in the works, Huawei is in the running for contracts to build 5G phone networks, the ultra-fast wireless technology Europe’s leaders hope will fuel the growth of a data-based economy.

The U.K.’s spy chief has indicated that a ban on Huawei is unlikely, citing a lack of viable alternatives to upgrade British telecom networks. Italy’s government has dismissed the U.S. warnings as it seeks to boost trade with China. In Germany, authorities have proposed tighter security rules for data networks rather than outlawing Huawei. France is doing the same after initially flirting with the idea of restrictions on Huawei. Governments listened to phone companies such as Vodafone Group Plc, Deutsche Telekom AG, and Orange SA, who warned that sidelining Huawei would delay the implementation of 5G by years and add billions of euros in cost. While carriers can also buy equipment from the likes of Ericsson AB, Nokia Oyj, and Samsung Electronics Co., industry consultants say Huawei’s quality is high, and the company last year filed 5,405 global patents, more than double the filings by Ericsson and Nokia combined. And some European lawmakers have been wary of Cisco Systems Inc., Huawei’s American rival, since Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the National Security Agency’s use of U.S.-made telecom equipment for spying.


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