US warns Germany it will share less intelligence over Huawei

Arturo Kim
March 14, 2019

Among other things, European security agencies have relied heavily on USA intelligence in the fight against terrorism.

US intelligence officials have been issuing warnings for years that Huawei technology could possibly be co-opted by the Chinese government for espionage purposes, though they have never publicly released hard evidence and Huawei has repeatedly issued denials.

Perhaps anticipating China's complaint that the Trump administration is cracking down on Chinese electronics to drive them off the market and create business opportunities for American firms, Grenell advised the Germans to hire Ericsson Communications of Sweden, Nokia of Finland, or Samsung of South Korea to build its 5G network.

The US has told Germany it would curb intelligence sharing with Berlin if it allows Huawei to participate in its 5G mobile network.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grennel sent a letter to Germany demanding them to block Huawei's entry.

In an interview with business daily Handelsblatt, Huawei's chief for West Europe, Vincent Pang, said the US warning went too far.

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The United States on Monday warned Germany that sensitive communications could be compromised if "untrusted vendors" were used within its 5G telecom infrastructure, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

"The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy has indeed received a letter; there is no comment on its content from their side".

The U.S. clash with Huawei includes a deep disagreement over the arrest in Canada and possible extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also the founder's daughter. But suspicions have increased enough that the company's founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, tried to quash them earlier this year, when he said, "No law requires any company in China to install mandatory backdoors".

The US, Australia and New Zealand have all blocked local firms from using Huawei to provide the technology for their 5G networks.

The US is going too far.

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