Huawei hits back after EU Commission crackdown

Huawei hits back after EU Commission crackdown

Huawei MWC.jpg

Huawei has hit back after the European Commission increased pressure on member-nations to stop the use of equipment from Chinese vendors in their networks.

Late last week, Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner urged member states to restrict or exclude vendors it deemed as “high-risk” from networks.

Huawei has been largely excluded from Western networks and has since focused on new revenue streams after being added to the US Entity List in 2019.

A Huawei spokesperson told Capacity: “Huawei strongly opposes and disagrees with the comments made by representatives from the European Commission.

“This is clearly not based on a verified, transparent, objective and technical assessment of 5G networks.”

Huawei added that it understands the European Commission’s concern to protect cybersecurity within the EU.

However, the vendor maintained that restrictions or exclusions based on “discriminatory” judgements will pose “serious economic and social risks”.

“It would hamper innovation and distort the EU market.”

This comes as an Oxford Economics report stated that excluding Huawei could increase 5G investment costs by up to tens of billions of euros, and that will have to be paid by European customers.

“Publicly singling out an individual entity as ‘HRV’ (high risk vendor) without legal basis is against principles of free trade,” the spokesperson said.

“It is of paramount importance to emphasise that the discriminatory ‘HRV’ assessment shall not be applied to any vendor without justified procedure and adequate hearing.

Huawei also noted that cybersecurity was a “top priority”, noting its Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels which was opened in 2019.

“We remain committed to delivering globally certified and trusted products and services, connecting millions of Europeans," the spokesperson concluded.

Telco response

Deutsche Telekom dismissed fears that it would not be able to operate Huawei’s Network Management Software (NMS) on its 5G mobile network.

"No update will be installed in live systems that has not previously been extensively tested for functionality and security in the test system." Stephan Broszio, spokesperson for Deutsche Telekom told

"The systems for network management are completely separated from the Internet and Deutsche Telekom's office communication networks in their own high-security network.

"Access to this network is only available to a few specially checked employees, remote access for manufacturers is not possible."

Germany has been reluctant to ban Huawei from its infrastructure, given China is one of its leading trading partners, with commercial exchanges of over US$300 billion per year.

Yet in March it was reported that Germany was allegedly set to “demand removal” of Huawei and ZTE kit from 5G networks. This has not yet come to fruition.

The country also hosts Huawei’s European headquarters in Dusseldorf and is anomalous for its lack of action in comparison to other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, in Austria, Klaus M. Steinmaurer, managing director of RTR for the telecoms and postal division said that Huawei and ZTE currently pose no threat to network security in the country.

“I am not aware of any reason for this,” he said in an interview with APA in response to a potential blanket ban of Huawei equipment.

Although, he adds that the situation is being monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis.

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