Connect with us


European Diplomats Harden Cyber Stance On China Ahead Of 5G Auctions

European diplomats are hardening their stance on Chinese technology companies amid mounting concerns over cyber security.

The move comes ahead of EU auctions for the latest generation of 5G wireless technology where Chinese companies are hoping to win major contracts.

“A number of like-minded countries are increasingly concerned about China’s behavior in this sphere,” a Western diplomat told the Financial Times.

The Western diplomat added: “EU countries, including Spain, Italy and Finland, held 5G auctions in 2018, with a clutch of others scheduled for 2019. The sales can raise billions of euros for government. We are urging everyone to avoid making any hasty moves they might regret later.”

EU members including Germany, Spain, Belgium and Austria are all considering 5G auctions in 2019.

But relations between Europe and China have become strained in recent months over cyber security concerns in telecoms networks.

The US has urged its allies to stop using equipment from Chinese equipment providers such as Huawei, which its security services have accused of posing a security risk.

In December, two Canadian citizens were arrested in China, thought to be in retaliation for the arrest of the chief financial officer of Huawei, one of China’s leading technology companies, over alleged breaches of US sanctions.

In Europe, some stances have hardened. In December the security agency of the Czech Republic issued two warnings against using equipment from China’s Huawei and ZTE.

In France, telecoms provider Orange said it would not hire Huawei for its upcoming 5G network, while Germany’s Deutsche Telekom said it took “discussion about the security of network equipment from Chinese vendors very seriously”.

An EU diplomat told the newspaper: “It’s quite a serious strategic problem for the EU and we have not properly mapped the exposure. The problem is every country is interested in the 5G auction because it’s a massive payday.”

However, Chinese firms have won deals to build 5G technology in some member states. T-Mobile Poland, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, confirmed it would build a 5G network in the Eastern European country with the support of Huawei. Meanwhile, Germany’s IT watchdog, the Federal Office for Information Security, has expressed skepticism over calls to block Huawei.

Last month, the UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said he had “grave” concerns over the use of equipment from Huawei in the UK’s new 5G infrastructure.

While Huawei has been accused of posing a security concern by US officials, the company has repeatedly denied any concerns about its equipment and said it is an independent company not linked to the Chinese state.― The Telegraph

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2023 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!