The German government is reportedly undecided about whether Chinese telecom giant Huawei should help build Germany’s 5G mobile network. There’s concern about the Chinese firm’s ties with Beijing and the threat of spying.
Germany’s interior, economy, finance and transport ministers met on February 6 to discuss the matter.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany must guarantee that Huawei would not hand over data to the Chinese government.
Germany will auction off 5G frequencies to operators next month. But the government is worried that if Huawei gains a market share, this could let the Chinese government gather confidential business and political information or enable it to disrupt infrastructure.
On February 6, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told a press conference that while the government wants to minimize security risks, it still needs to decide upon concrete measures.
“The government has not yet reached an opinion,” he added.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Dieter Kempf, head of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), said a blanket ban on China made no sense.
“It would narrow the choice of vendors. That could affect costs,” he told Reuters. “More importantly, there would be political consequences — China could be tempted to retaliate against German companies,” he said, arguing for the implementation of tough security standards.
“I believe the right path would be to make sure we manage our risks when it comes to tenders,” Kempf said. “We must convey our reservations to the Chinese side and make it clear what we will not tolerate in our legal system.”