(Reuters) – European Union countries can either restrict or exclude high-risk 5G vendors from core parts of their telecoms networks, according to new EU guidelines announced on Wednesday, a move targeting China’s Huawei Technologies but falling short of a U.S. call for a complete ban.
Following is the approach to Huawei taken by other countries:
Washington has piled pressure on its allies to shut out Huawei, the world’s leading telecoms equipment vendor, saying its gear contained “back doors” that would enable China to spy on other countries.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on Tuesday, defying U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese company.
The United States on Wednesday urged Britain to look again at its decision.
Australia banned Huawei from supplying equipment for a 5G mobile network in 2018.
Huawei had originally struck a deal to lay undersea cables to bring high-speed internet to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, but in 2018 Australia decided to fund and build the infrastructure itself.
New Zealand, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network together with Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada, blocked service provider Spark from using Huawei 5G equipment in 2018.
Spark said last November it would not use Huawei exclusively in its 5G rollout, but would keep it on its three-company list of preferred equipment suppliers.
Canada, the only member of the elite intelligence-sharing network yet to decide whether to allow the use of Huawei 5G technology, on Tuesday said it was studying Britain’s decision not to ban the Chinese telecoms giant.
An added complication for Canada is that Beijing detained two Canadians in 2018 after Vancouver police arrested a Huawei executive on a U.S. extradition warrant.
In Europe’s largest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked lawmakers to wait until after a March EU summit before taking a position on whether or not to exclude Huawei from Germany’s 5G rollout.
She favors strict security requirements for the 5G network, but opposes excluding individual companies. She faces opposition from those in her party who back U.S. calls to ban Huawei outright.
Huawei denied a newspaper report on Wednesday that alleged the German government was in possession of evidence that it had cooperated with Chinese intelligence.
Huawei has a strong foothold in Poland but remains under scrutiny. Poland might have different security demands for the core of its 5G system and the rest of the network, its digital minister said in December.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz did not rule out deploying Huawei equipment in Austria’s future 5G networks on Monday but said the country would coordinate its decisions with the rest of the EU.
Editing by Keith Weir and Gareth Jones