Friday, November 23, 2018

Washington Asks Allies to Drop Huawei

U.S. worried about potential Chinese meddling in 5G networks, but foreign carriers may balk

People visiting a Huawei booth at the Light of Internet Expo earlier this month in Wuzhen in China's eastern Zhejiang province. Photo: str/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By Stu Woo in London and Kate O’Keeffe in Washington

The U.S. government has initiated an extraordinary outreach campaign to foreign allies, trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in these countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co., according to people familiar with the situation.

American officials have briefed their government counterparts and telecom executives in friendly countries where Huawei equipment is already in wide use, including Germany, Italy and Japan, about what they see as cybersecurity risks, these people said. The U.S. is also considering increasing financial aid for telecommunications development in countries that shun Chinese-made equipment, some of these people say.

One U.S. concern centers on the use of Chinese telecom equipment in countries that host American military bases, according to people familiar with the matter, such as Germany, Italy and Japan. The Defense Department has its own satellites and telecom network for especially sensitive communications, but most traffic at many military installations travels through commercial networks.  Read more >>