Germany decides that 5G bidders must be free of foreign influence

Germany's Christian Democratic Party has agreed that companies bidding to work on Germany's 5G program must be able to prove that they are free of foreign state influence, a move which has been taken by many as a jibe at Huawei. 

This decision comes after several days of debate on whether to allow Huawei to participate in the 5G roll-out. On 22 November, chancellor Angela Merkel told the party congress in Leipzig that "We shouldn't exclude anyone from the outset." 

She later added that no country or company should be excluded from the process if they fit security criteria drawn up by German authorities, and that those security criteria should be theirs alone. 

However, other MPs in her party have argued that Huawei should be banned, echoing allegations from the United States that Huawei poses national security risks. On Friday, the US Federal Communications Commission voted to designate Huawei and China's ZTE as a national security threat. Huawei replied by saying the FCC order is "unlawful" and that the company "is an international leader in developing and adopting mechanisms to improve cybersecurity to protect the reliability of its equipment and the privacy of consumers." The US has also warned Berlin that it would consider scaling back intelligence sharing should Huawei be given a role in Germany's 5G roll-out.

Germany is a close trading partner with China and many of the telecoms companies in the country are customers of Huawei. These companies have warned that a ban of Huawei from participating in the 5G roll-out may lead to years of delays. 

Source(s): Reuters