A report in the German press claims that the government is going to impose new restrictions on Huawei’s involvement in the 5G network that amount to a ban in all but name.
The leak comes from Handelsblatt, so we are indebted to Google Translate for its help once more. It claims to have been chatting to the German government, which said that while there won’t be an outright ban on Huawei, the use of its kit will be severely restricted. They will be subject to both a technical and political test, the latter supposedly to determine Huawei’s intrinsic trustworthiness.
Since pretty much all countries that want to stay in America’s good books deem Huawei untrustworthy merely by being Chinese, it’s hard to see how Huawei could pass the political test. As an expert it quoted as saying in the piece, this is effectively an exclusion of Huawei, but the German government seems to be trying to sugar the pill.
It looks like German security agencies aren’t al all keen on Huawei and the government seems to be setting the stage for them to make the final call on Huawei kit. If this report is accurate then the German government is once more trying a similar move to the UK by repackaging a political decision as a security one. Both countries presumably hope this offers their best chance of retaining some goodwill with China despite banning Huawei.
All this stuff isn’t set to be made into law for another month or so and the German government has yet to formally announce anything. But if it’s accurate then we can expect the rest of the EU to follow Germany’s lead, because that’s what it does. Due to the severe cost implications for German operators, they will have to be given years to adapt to the new rules, but it’s starting to look like Europe could be a Huawei-free zone by the end of this decade.