As German 5G Auctions Loom, Officials Push To Exclude Chinese Tech
Senior German officials are reportedly attempting to persuade their government to follow Australia’s example to exclude Chinese tech companies, like Huawei and ZTE, from constructing Germany’s 5G infrastructure citing potential security risks, according to a report from Reuters.
The move comes late in the game as Germany’s 5G auctions are expected to begin in early 2019, leading many to believe that the push will fail as the “fragile” coalition government isn’t expected to make a major decision that could sour international relations.
Opposition parties have also submitted a motion which challenges the government’s position that there is no legal basis for banning specific suppliers from its 5G rollout.
The security concerns centre around China’s National Intelligence Law, which states that organisations and citizens must “in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work”.
The wording of this law has ignited concerns around the world that the Chinese government could instruct Huawei or ZTE to build backdoors into their devices that would enable Chinese intelligence agents to monitor foreign nationals.
Huawei has repeatedly rejected that they might pose a threat to national security stressing that they are a private company with no links to the Chinese government.
Outside of the parliament, the public debate on 5G has focused on how extensive the next-generation mobile network coverage will be rather than security concerns as current coverage is inconsistent and high-speed internet is not available throughout the country.
Reports also surfaced today that America is also planning on following Australia’s decision to ban Chinese suppliers from providing 5G services. If Germany were to follow Australia, it could ripple across Europe.
At the end of the day, it might come down to the dollar — or euro — amount, as Huawei is a global leader in 5G technologies that are among the most advanced and affordable in the world.
In addition, Huawei is a partner of mobile carriers including Deutsche Telekom in Germany for many years and enjoy a sizeable presence in the German market.