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US pressuring allies to veto Huawei – report

Tense relations between United States and China. Concept of conflict and stress

The US government is reportedly lobbying its international allies to pressure their telecoms companies not to do business with Huawei.

The rumour comes courtesy of the WSJ, which has been chatting to people who reckon they’re familiar with the situation. They say US officials have been hassling both governments and telcos directly in allied countries in Western Europe and Japan. On top of that the US is apparently contemplating using the time-honoured channel of ‘aid’ to bribe some countries into playing ball.

Unsurprisingly nobody has gone on the record to corroborate the story but the WSJ did get this quote from an unnamed US official: “We engage with countries around the world about our concerns regarding cyberthreats in telecommunications infrastructure. As they’re looking to move to 5G, we remind them of those concerns. There are additional complexities to 5G networks that make them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.”

“We remind them of those concerns”. Nice. It’s not at all hard to believe the US state has been briefing internationally against Huawei and Chinese networking kit vendors in general. Since Australia decided to ban Chinese vendors from getting involved in its 5G infrastructure there have been regular rumours of other countries following suit, although none of them have announced anything yet.

Apparently among the US concerns are that telecoms traffic through its military bases in allied countries may be compromised if any of the network uses gear from Chinese companies. Despite protestations to the contrary the US seems to be convinced that such gear can be used by the Chinese state for nefarious purposes.

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