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Italy denies it will ban Huawei, ZTE from its 5G plans

09 February 2019

After pledging $2 billion to alleviate security fears in the UK, Huawei has now stated that it would accept full supervision from the European Union (EU) should it be allowed to continue pushing its 5G network.

The UK government's report in July 2018 concluded that it has "only limited assurance" that Huawei's broadband and mobile infrastructure equipment poses no threat to national security, adding that "significant work" was needed to tackle the concerns.

Huawei continues to deny allegations, believing its track record across 170 countries supersedes the lack of evidence.

Huawei, the global networks market leader with annual sales exceeding US$100 billion, faces worldwide scrutiny over its ties with the Chinese government and suspicion that Beijing could use its technology for spying.

A Huawei spokesman said: "We can not add to what is outlined in the letter, where we have explained our position in full to the House of Commons Committee; and we are continuing to work closely with the authorities in the United Kingdom". Germany has said it wants high data security standards for its 5G network.

BT said in December that it would not buy Huawei equipment for the core of its next generation 5G network, which launches this year in 16 United Kingdom cities.

The Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE have been in the Trump administration's crosshairs as part of a broader focus on Chinese national security threats that has paralleled the ongoing trade war.

The new legislation was a last-minute addition by the government to a wide-ranging corporate law and would have required telecom operators to seek formal approval for the use of certain kinds of equipment considered to be particularly sensitive for spying or sabotage risks. Four products were then found by the NCSC to be lacking binary equivalence, while an additional issue was found in Huawei's use of commercial and open-source third-party components, with not all being managed through the agreed process. The measures will be finalized before the 5G auction, to be available for bidding companies, the report added.

'Were Huawei ever to engage in malicious behaviour, it would not go unnoticed - and it would certainly destroy our business.

The next British report is expected to be released in coming weeks. As POLITICO first reported last August, it was originally paired with a second order formalizing an interagency team that reviews foreign entities' telecom investment requests.

Italy denies it will ban Huawei, ZTE from its 5G plans