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US Threatens German Government Against Using Huawei 5G Tech

It is a market that will be worth billions, as 5G will require compatible new phones and communications equipment

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Attendees pass by a Huawei booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 9, 2019. VOA

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has sent a letter to the German government threatening to curtail access to American intelligence if Berlin decides to issue contracts to Chinese tech giant Huawei to build their 5G communications networks, the media reported.

“The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy has indeed received a letter; there is no comment on its content from their side. There will be a quick reply,” CNN quoted Matthias Wehler, spokesperson at the German embassy in Washington D.C., as saying on Monday.

Germany announced on March 7 that it wouldn’t ban any company from bidding on 5G contracts.

The State Department has not commented on Grenell’s letter, but Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesperson, outlined how Huawei’s 5G networks could pose a constantly evolving and shifting threat.

“Because 5G networks are largely software-defined, updates pushed to the network by the manufacturer can radically change how they operate,” Marquis told CNN.

“The 5G networks our allies buy won’t be the networks that they eventually operate, as the software could be changed on a moment-to-moment basis by the manufacturer.”

The letter follows similar warnings by President Donald Trump’s administration urging allies to ban or restrict Huawei products from their 5G networks due to its ability to compromise national security by selling equipment with “backdoors” that could allow for unauthorised surveillance.

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A man lights a cigarette outside a Huawei retail shop in Beijing. VOA

China and Huawei have vigorously pushed back on the US charges and the telecom giant last week filed a suit against Washington over the 2019 National Defence Authorization Act, which bans American federal agencies from buying Huawei products.

The lawsuit is Huawei’s most aggressive move yet to fight back against US claims.

Germany’s March 7 announcement follows a similar decision by the UK. Both countries argue they can mitigate any risks and their decisions could make it harder for Washington to convince smaller countries to follow suit.

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Security concerns have led Australia to completely ban the company’s technology and New Zealand has moved to partially restrict it.

The 5G network is the next generation of wireless networks that promises to be 100 times faster and more reliable than current technology.

It is a market that will be worth billions, as 5G will require compatible new phones and communications equipment. (IANS)

Next Story

More Tech Firms cut Ties with Huawei

Following the trade clampdown, tech majors including Google, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm put restrictions on businesses with Huawei

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Attendees pass by a Huawei booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 9, 2019. VOA

Following the US trade ban against Chinese companies, Japanese tech major Panasonic and UK-based chip designer ARM have “suspended transactions” and cut ties with Huawei, the media reported.

“Panasonic announced in an internal notification that it should suspend transactions with Huawei and its 68 affiliates that were banned by the US government,” BBC quoted the company as saying on Thursday.

Later, the Japanese company appeared to contradict that position with a statement posted on its China website that said the company was continuing supplies to Huawei.

The company specified that the ban applies to goods having 25 per cent or more of US-originated materials, but did not clear what transactions Panasonic was suspending, or why they were subject to US restrictions.

On the other hand, saying that its designs contained “US origin technology,” ARM instructed employees to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei and its subsidiaries, BBC reported on Wednesday.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

Analysts believe that ARM’s decision of breaking off with Huawei would affect the Chinese tech company’s ability to develop its own chips, many of which are currently built with ARM’s underlying technology, for which it pays a licence fee.

On May 15, US President Donald Trump effectively banned Huawei with a national security order.

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The US publicly asked its allies to steer clear of using Huawei products over concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government to obtain private information.

Following the trade clampdown, tech majors including Google, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm put restrictions on businesses with Huawei. (IANS)