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German leaders weigh restrictions on Huawei, ZTE

Leading German politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, will meet soon to decide on whether or not to force telecom operators to curb their use of equipment made by China’s Huawei and ZTE, people familiar with the matter said.

The talks between Scholz, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Transport Minister Volker Wissing are aimed a reaching stricter security requirements for the 5G mobile network, the people said, following months of delays.

The Interior Ministry last year came out with proposals to make changes to 5G networks after a review highlighted Germany’s reliance on the two Chinese suppliers.

Berlin has been reassessing its relationship with China, a country it dubs both a partner and systemic rival but which is a core market for some of Germany’s most well-known companies, including Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.

The issue around Huawai and ZTE reflects a realisation in Berlin that it may need tough political measures to force German companies to reduce their strategic dependencies on Asia’s rising superpower. Reuters

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