British security officials do not support a full ban of Huawei from national telecoms networks despite U.S. allegations that the Chinese firm and its products could be used by Beijing for spying, people with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
Huawei is already barred from bidding for government contracts in the United States, while Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to ring-fence planned fifth-generation networks from Chinese vendors.
Below is an overview of Huawei’s position in the EU and some key European markets:
The EU is considering proposals that would amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks, four senior EU officials told Reuters in January.
One option under consideration by the European Commission is to amend a 2016 cybersecurity law, which requires businesses involved in critical infrastructure to take appropriate security measures.
By amending the definition of critical infrastructure to also include fifth generation mobile networks, the law would effectively prevent EU businesses from using equipment provided by any country or company suspected of using its equipment for spying or sabotage, the officials said.
The German government will consult further with telecoms operators and vendors before deciding whether to let Chinese firms such as Huawei participate in building 5G mobile networks, a senior source told Reuters this month.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany needs guarantees that Huawei would not hand data to the Chinese state before allowing it to take part in building new networks.
Germany’s three telecoms operators - Deutsche Telekom , Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland - use Huawei equipment in their networks and have warned that curbing their choice of vendors could be costly.
France is stepping up controls on telecoms infrastructure used in next-generation networks but says the increased vetting is not intended to target any particular equipment maker.
Market leader Orange has said it will not turn to Huawei to help build its 5G network, citing the security concerns of the French authorities.
Orange is not a customer of Huawei in France but the Chinese company does supply Orange’s overseas networks and says it expects to be involved in rolling out their 5G networks.
Poland is considering excluding Huawei equipment from its future 5G network, sources have told Reuters, after the arrest of a Chinese employee of Huawei and a former Polish security official on spying allegations.
Warsaw, which is seeking to convince the United States to increase its military presence in the country, was praised last week by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for its commitment to “protecting the telecoms sector from China.”