France will allow Huawei to provide equipment for its 5G network, but will place restrictions on nuclear and military sites if the Chinese company wins the contract
- France says it doesn’t “bow to American pressure” to exclude Huawei from 5G
- The Chinese company is one of the most dominant in 5G mobile infrastructure
- The White House says that Huawei is able to spy on China using the 5G technology
- France says it would give priority to the European companies Nokia and Ericsson
France allows Huawei to provide equipment for its 5G network, but will impose restrictions on nuclear and military sites if it wins the contract.
The country says it does not “bow to American pressure” to exclude Chinese technology company Huawei from supplying equipment.
US President Donald Trump has already ordered US companies to stop doing business with Huawei and has urged the allies to follow this example.
France’s last move follows the UK by giving the company the right to deliver technology, but also to limit where it is installed.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that Paris would give priority to European necessities such as Nokia and Ericsson, but would not exclude Huawei from bidding.
France allows Huawei to provide equipment for its 5G network, but will place restrictions on nuclear and military sites if it wins the contract
“There is no discrimination against Huawei … No, Huawei will not be excluded from the 5G in France,” Le Maire told BFM TV.
5G stands for the fifth generation, the latest in mobile mobile communication with enormously higher speeds that can unlock a variety of new applications.
In Europe, there was intensive debate about whether or not to exclude Huawei from supplying equipment for mobile 5G networks.
Critics, led by Washington, say that Huawei is too close to Beijing and that its equipment can be used as an aid to espionage – a claim that the company strongly rejects.
US Attorney General Bill Barr said last week that the United States and their allies should take controlling interests in Nokia, Ericsson or both to combat Huawei’s dominance in the 5G market.
Asked if France could give preferential treatment to Nokia from Finland and Ericsson from Sweden, Le Maire replied: ‘We have two European operators that supply 5G and deliver high quality equipment.
‘It is normal if we first see if they can offer the solution. And I think our Chinese partners can understand that. “
He insisted: ‘Huawei is not discriminated against. If Huawei has a better offer from a technical point of view or price, it can have access to 5G in France. “
Great Britain allowed the use of Huawei equipment last month, they are 5G networks, but excludes the Chinese company from ‘sensitive’ core infrastructure.
The European Union followed, restrictive but not forbidding Huawei equipment in 5G networks.
Le Maire’s comments came when the Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration believes that Huawei has secret access to mobile networks around the world through “back doors” designed for use by law enforcement officials.
It quoted American officials who said the company has had this “secret power” for more than ten years.
The US kept the intelligence very secret until the end of last year, when officials provided details to allies, including Britain and Germany, the newspaper said.
In Europe there has been intensive debate about whether or not to exclude Huawei from supplying equipment for mobile 5G networks.
Huawei, however, strongly denied the report and said in a statement that “it never has and will never have access to telecom networks, nor do we have the ability to do that.”
The EU has struggled to find a middle ground to balance Huawei’s enormous dominance in the 5G sector with Washington’s security concerns.
With Huawei generally regarded as the most advanced 5G equipment.
British telecom group BT said it would hit a £ 500 million hit from the UK restrictions and Vodafone would cost around £ 200 million because it would require changes to their own equipment.
French telecom operator Orange said last month that Nokia and Ericsson had chosen to supply equipment for its 5G network in the country as soon as the authorities made frequencies available later this year.
Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard told BFM Business that the US should disclose any evidence of Huawei’s misconduct.
He compared the claims with the 2003 search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“What is certain is that Huawei has never been caught red-handed in the industry and we don’t have the information that the American services seem to have,” he said.
“But if they have this information, it’s in everyone’s interest that they make it public.”
WHY DOES BRITISH INTELLIGENCE THINK HUAWEI’S PRODUCTS MAY BE A SECURITY THREAT?
The controversial Chinese manufacturer of telecommunication equipment Huawei openly supports the ruling Communist Party.
Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), founded the company in 1987 and has risen to become one of the world’s top manufacturers of network equipment.
But his PLA service has led to concerns about close ties with the Chinese army and government, which Huawei has consistently denied.
Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), founded the company in 1987 and has risen to become one of the world’s top manufacturers of network equipment. But his PLA service has led to concerns about close ties with the Chinese army and government, which Huawei has consistently denied
Huawei is active in 170 countries and the company says that one third of the world’s population communicates with its products in one way or another.
It is the world’s second largest supplier of network equipment behind Ericsson of Sweden and has given a major boost to consumer products such as smartphones in recent years.
Fear of the possibilities to tap sensitive information comes from rumors about back doors in the company’s software.
Although such a vulnerability has never been found, the accusations for their capabilities range from the ability to tap encrypted data to disable communication facilities.
The British National Cyber Security Center, which is part of GCHQ, has not claimed to find evidence of such vulnerabilities.
However, intelligence experts say they can only offer limited guarantees that the Chinese company does not pose a risk to broadband and telephone networks in the UK.