The European Union is considering introducing a mandatory ban on the use of Huawei equipment in its 5G networks. The move is in response to growing concerns in Brussels about the security risks posed by the Chinese company, which has been accused by the US of being a criminal enterprise that has stolen from US companies, violated sanctions against North Korea and made false statements to the FBI.
The EU had previously issued recommendations to exclude high-risk vendors from technology investments, but only a third of EU countries had banned Huawei from critical parts of the bloc’s 5G communications. Thierry Breton, EU internal market commissioner, warned that the lack of action by member states exposed the union’s collective security.
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The ban would require the backing of the European parliament and member states, and is unlikely to come before the end of the current European Commission’s term in 2024. Huawei said it opposed politicising cyber security evaluation and that no court had ever found that it had engaged in malicious intellectual property theft or required it to pay damages for infringement on others’ intellectual property.