US says Europeans coming around on threat posed by Huawei

The Trump administration warned against the use of Huawei in 5G systems and opened its own campaign to blacklist the company and limit its access to American suppliers over security concerns.
The Trump administration warned against the use of Huawei in 5G systems and opened its own campaign to blacklist the company and limit its access to American suppliers over security concerns.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The US has strong indications that European nations are coming around to the severity of the threat posed by China's Huawei Technologies Co and the dangers of incorporating its equipment into their coming 5G networks, according to an administration official.

The official said that while European nations probably won't impose an outright legal ban on Huawei, the US anticipates that many nations will effectively bar the company's equipment from their next-generation telecom networks. The official asked not to be identified discussing private discussions.

Such moves would represent a victory for the Trump administration, which has warned against the use of Huawei in 5G systems and has opened its own campaign to blacklist the company and limit its access to American suppliers over security concerns.

The official declined to name specific countries prepared to change their position.

In April, Bloomberg News reported that the UK is set to toughen the rules under which Huawei operates there, while stopping short of an outright ban.

The Trump administration held off on blacklisting Huawei out of concern the move could disrupt trade negotiations with China and took action only after the last round of talks hit an impasse, according to people familiar with the matter.

Officials including US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and his team have repeatedly warned that the US may limit intelligence-sharing with countries that use Huawei equipment for fear that China's government could use the hardware to gain access to secret information. Huawei has rejected such assertions.