Germany’s government is considering action that could effectively block Huawei from participating in the build-out of 5G networks in the country, as global security concerns about the vendor continue to mount.
German newspaper Handelsblatt reported, citing government sources, that officials are assessing the possibility of setting security standards that will be impossible for Huawei to achieve, while amendments to German telecoms law are also possible.
The government’s stance regarding Huawei appears to have shifted considerably from October 2018, when it said it saw no legal basis to bar any vendors from the country’s 5G market, despite pressure from the US and Australia.
Both countries, along with New Zealand, have banned Huawei from participating in their 5G rollouts, due to national security concerns. Other countries have threatened similar action.
Germany first indicated that its concerns about Huawei were ramping in December 2018, when Deutsche Telekom, which is part state-owned, said it was reassessing its network equipment strategy.
The company said it was taking the global discussion about deploying network equipment from Chinese vendors “very seriously”.
Handelsblatt reported that the government has recently also said the security of 5G networks was “extremely relevant”, and would guide its upcoming decisions.
Huawei has maintained that allegations its network equipment could leave countries vulnerable to cyber espionage from the Chinese state are unfounded, and it has called on governments to prove its theories.
In a press briefing this week, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei also went on the record to state he “would never do anything that would harm another country”.