Trump Readies to Sign Order Banning Chinese Telecom Suppliers

10 February, 2019, 10:15 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Company logo at the office of Huawei in Beijing. Thomas Peter Reuters  File

While Washington has already largely barred Huawei from supplying its government and contractors, it sees advanced European preparations for 5G mobile networks as a security risk that could also endanger the United States.

Pressure has been growing on Huawei in Britain, one of its most important markets in Europe, since a government report in July a year ago found that technical and supply-chain issues with the company's equipment had exposed national telecom networks to new security risks.

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order next week that would ban Chinese telecommunication equipment from US wireless networks, the Politico website reported citing sources.

But the company's presence has sparked fears of Chinese espionage, with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson warning a year ago he had "very deep concerns" about the firm's role in the UK.

It's believed Huawei and ZTE aren't specifically named in the executive order, but the companies would obviously fall under the category of Chinese telecom equipment providers.

Western security concerns surrounding Huawei, and fellow Chinese telecoms equipment firm ZTE Corp (0763.HK) (000063.SZ), centre around China's National Intelligence Law.

Abraham Liu reiterated that Huawei has not and would never harm the interests of customers or countries.

The UK government's report in July 2018 concluded that it has "only limited assurance" that Huawei's broadband and mobile infrastructure equipment poses no threat to national security, adding that "significant work" was needed to tackle the concerns.

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The proposal comes in the wake of the recent arrest of a Chinese employee of the firm & a former Polish security personnel over spying charges.

"It is a complicated and involved process, and will take at least three to five years to see tangible results".

Governments in Europe, Japan, and Australia are also considering or have ordered bans on Huawei equipment.

While speaking to reporters earlier this week, Huawei Poland CEO Tonny Bao said the firm is prepared for such an investment so long as Warsaw accepts it as a "trusted solution" to the problem at hand.

"For example, yesterday, the US Ambassador to the European Union, Mr (Gordon) Sondland, said someone in Beijing (could) remotely run a certain auto off the road on the 5G network and kill the person who is in it".

USA charges of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran have since been issued against the company, sparking new tensions in relations between the United States and China.

In a case centring on Meng, Huawei is charged with violating U.S. and United Nations prohibitions on trading with Iran.


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