Huawei backs Germany's position on infrastructure security
17 December 2020 | Melanie Mingas
Huawei has welcomed the "fact- and standards-based approach" Germany is taking to securing its critical national infrastructure.
Yesterday the country's bill on cybersecurity progressed to parliament. If passed it would place an onus on infrastructure providers to "guarantee" their equipment will not be used for sabotage, espionage or terrorism.
As such, critical infrastructure providers – including those building 5G networks – will be required to provide details on how they are preventing illegal activity, rather than being forced to work around outright bans on non-domestic companies.
A government spokesperson told AFP that the bill, which will now go to parliament, "concerns fundamental questions of IT security and not individual manufacturers".
In a statement Huawei welcomed the "fact- and standards-based approach" and said that cooperation drives technological progress. The company also highlighted its collaborations with "45 of the world's top 50 telecom companies", and its involvement in development global 5G standards, including security.
Its statement read: "We welcome the move the German Government has taken to create a level playing field for 5G network vendors. A fully competitive digital infrastructure market will drive industry digitalisation and digital economic development in Germany, bringing more advanced and convenient information services and experiences to consumers.
"This fact- and standards-based approach is of exemplary significance for addressing global cyber security challenges. Politicizing cyber security will only hinder technology development and social progress while doing nothing to address the security challenges all countries face. Huawei will continue to work openly with regulators, customers, and industry organisations to ensure that mobile networks are secure," it continued.
While Germany's stance on the equipment manufacturer could see it avoid an outright ban, if passed, the law could also see Germany's position on Chinese 5G vendors become increasingly opaque. Operators will have to inform authorities of their infrastructure development plans and officials will decide on a case-by-case basis if there are conflicts with "the overriding public interest".
The US has previously said it would not share intelligence with any country using Huawei kit.
Meanwhile in Sweden, Huawei appealed its ban in a move that halted the country's 5G spectrum auction last month. This week a Swedish appeals court said the regulator, PTS, could now go ahead with the auction, however a new date has yet to be confirmed.
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