Italy reportedly blocks Huawei 5G deal as Bulgaria joins US ‘clean network’ scheme

Huawei’s steady stream of European setbacks continues with a report that the Italian government has vetoed a 5G deal between the Chinese vendor and Fastweb.

The scoop comes courtesy of Reuters, which says it has spoken to three anonymous sources on the matter. It reports the decision to veto the 5G core deal was made in a cabinet meeting late last week, on the pretext of Fastweb having an insufficiently diversified set of suppliers. Huawei and Fastweb have been working together on 5G for some time.

We’re not sure what proportion of Fastweb’s 5G deals to-date have been awarded to Huawei, but it’s unusual for governments to intervene over such matters unless there are already laws in place. The UK government, for example, attempted to cap the proportion of 5G RAN work that can be awarded earlier this year, before it caved in to diplomatic pressure from the US to ban it entirely.

The Italian government has yet to announce a specific policy on Chinese vendor involvement in its 5G networks, so this move comes somewhat out of the blue. As Reuters notes, however, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent most of this year touring Europe to persuade everyone to join its anti-Huawei crusade.

Chinese media have attempted to downplay the move, but it’s hard to see this as anything other than the first step of an official Italian government policy designed to restrict or completely band Huawei involvement in its 5G networks. If this was just about plurality of supply, then why haven’t we seen equivalent vetoes concerning Ericsson and Nokia?

Meanwhile Pompeo’s incessant touring seems to be paying dividends further east, with AP reporting Bulgaria, Kosovo and North Macedonia have joined the US ‘clean network’ initiative. This is just another front of the same offensive to keep Chinese vendors out of as many telecoms networks as possible.

There’s no much else to add on the latter story, other than to reflect on the effectiveness of the initiative on the whole. The EU seems to be hiding from the diplomatic consequences of adopting a formal position on China and 5G by leaving that decision to individual members. This is playing into the hands of the US, however, which seems to be picking them off one by one.

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  1. Avatar Tarek Makhzoum 26/10/2020 @ 6:07 pm

    USA is no’01 in this world leading terrorism and Europe countries like sheep they don’t have their own decision , it a big shame for all of them.

    I do admire of Pop Francis when he kick out and reject Pompino when he visited Italy, due to unacceptable behavior from USA against China.
    GOD Bless Pop Francis, because he is strong and courage. Has his own dicision.

    • Avatar rosa 28/10/2020 @ 2:55 pm

      Of course. This is the same pope who has a secret deal with china on appointments of catholic bishops, eventhough we know that the christians are very supressed in that country. So we actually know what or who matters to the pope….

    • Avatar Ram iyer 28/10/2020 @ 9:01 pm

      Based on your name I can tell you, you cannot understand science and technology. Leave it between Us, Europe and China.

  2. Avatar Luca Marulli 26/10/2020 @ 9:25 pm

    Pompeo’s and US’s strategies are not a help for transparency in communications but the “same old story” of rhe American way against communism ghosts, with goals of complete control of other countries’ political needs or future changes. All real shit, big brothers not so far from Chinese regime, almost more honest than other countries that rule the world with criminal capitalism, supporting golpism, weapons and wars. Cheers

  3. Avatar Luca Marulli 26/10/2020 @ 9:29 pm

    I think American goals are tbe same of China: control other countries with big data.

  4. Avatar Micky 27/10/2020 @ 5:53 am

    Good job .CCP is just behaving like easy india company.get them under their rule by means of providing loan or by means gov backed organization.they are danger to the world.

  5. Avatar Elesho 27/10/2020 @ 6:12 am

    The world should be concerned about the attempt by China to dominate the world ‘s 5G network.

    China, according to the rumors going around, was bribing mostly the third world countries to accept its 5G technology .

    Since most of world’s fake products are from China, the world should halt China’s attempt to distribute its 5G Technology until it is determined to be safe.

  6. Avatar Chandrakant Bhadkamkar 27/10/2020 @ 2:12 pm

    Happy to read this. Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Fujitsu over Huawei or ZTE any time !!

    • Avatar Ram iyer 28/10/2020 @ 9:03 pm

      Also add Qualcomm

  7. Avatar happiman 27/10/2020 @ 5:44 pm

    For any corrupted Chinese mindset, bribery is the ultimate way of wining the business.
    It is natural for Chinese to cheat, steal, bribe.

    1) In Algeria, it was banned from bidding for public contracts after one of its executives was convicted of bribery.
    2 In Zambia, it was probed over allegations of bribery involving a multi-million-dollar contract to build cell towers in rural areas.
    3) In the Solomon Islands, it was accused of offering millions of dollars to the ruling party in exchange for an undersea fiber optic cable contract.

    In all three cases – and half a dozen others in recent years – the alleged perpetrator was Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecom behemoth facing scrutiny from Western nations over allegations of intellectual property theft and espionage.

  8. Avatar happiman 27/10/2020 @ 6:15 pm

    The evidences and reports on Chinese business corruption & bribery are observed every where and in recent years, African has been the target for 一帶一路,One Belt, One Road.

    The sinister Chinses community party backed Huawei is the forefront runner for their evil scheme.

    “Corruption is often a key element of Chinese economic engagement overseas, including in Africa. A 2017 survey found that 60 percent to 87 percent of Chinese firms polled in Africa admitted to paying a bribe to get a license.”

    “Chinese companies scored second-worst in Transparency International’s last Bribe Payers Index that measured perceptions of how likely companies from certain countries are to pay bribes abroad.”

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