Published: Sun, November 25, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

USA urges allies to shun Huawei Technologies

USA urges allies to shun Huawei Technologies

According to the Wall Street Journal, US officials have reached out to their counterparts in countries where Huawei's telecom equipment is in widespread use to warn them about what the US has long seen as a cybersecurity risk. According to the Wall Street Journal, American officials have passed this information to governments and companies in Japan, Germany, and Italy.

In an effort to bolster its campaign against China-made equipment in those countries, the also reportedly expanding its financial assistance for telecommunications development efforts in territories that agree to drop the telecom products from that country.

The U.S. and China are of course engaged in a trade war, with Chinese intellectual property theft and espionage being a central issue there, but the concerns about Huawei - and fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE - predate the Trump presidency.

In mid-August, US President Donald Trump signed a bill banning the government use of gear from Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies. With people becoming more and more internet-dependent, US officials are increasingly sounding the alarm over the potential for Chinese spying.

Huawei equipment increases the risk of cyberattacks and could allow China to spy on communications or disable connections in the fast growing "internet of things", the USA officials argue.

Huawei has been under scrutiny from US and its allies for being connected to the Chinese government and using its equipment for espionage, allegations that Huawei has repeatedly denied. Chinese telecom stocks fell rapidly in response to the report.

The US's push, which was reportedly seeded before the current administration took over, reflects the fears of many analysts that Chinese firms operating in bad faith might embed themselves just as the next-gen wireless 5G network is rolled out worldwide. "If a government's behavior extends beyond its jurisdiction, such activity should not be encouraged".

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