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Germany reportedly mulls Chinese kit vendor ban for 5G

Chinese hacker in front of digital datastream flag

Germany is the latest ‘western’ country rumoured to be thinking of prohibiting Huawei and ZTE from its participating in its 5G infrastructure.

This is according to a report from Reuters, which claims to have spoken to senior German officials who are planning a last-ditch drive to persuade the government to ban Chinese firms from getting involved in its 5G roll out on national security grounds. The report sounds slightly sceptical that any such efforts will succeed, but the mere fact that they’re giving it a go must be of grave concern to Huawei et al.

“There is serious concern,” one of these anonymous senior German officials told Reuters. “If it were up to me we would do what the Australians are doing.” They are, of course, referring to the decision made by the Australian government back in August to rule out any foreign vendors it thinks might be subject to governmental interference – a clear reference to China.

This seems to be part of a broader drive to have more of a conversation around 5G security in Germany than is currently taking place. Huawei, of course, has insisted that nothing is more important to it than security, but it must be pretty concerned that these stories keep coming up. Even if no ban takes place this sort of thing must compromise the trading environment for Chinese vendors, who will presumably have to go to greater lengths to prove themselves than the likes of Nokia and Ericsson.

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