Germany Approves Huawei for its 5G Networks

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 6 Comments

After a stunning defeat in the UK, Huawei has notched a win in Germany, which has approved the use of the Chinese firm’s 5G networking products in its critical infrastructure.

“We’ve created regulation that allows us to monitor trustworthiness in an appropriate fashion,” German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said of the decision. “Our security interests played a big role.”

Seehofer noted that Huawei gave Germany assurances about the safety of its networking products, meeting the country’s need to balance its security concerns with an open market for competitors. Huawei will be held financially liable for any security breaches.

As you must know, Huawei has been under attack by the U.S. government for unsubstantiated claims that the firm is beholden to the Chinese government and could use its networking equipment as a Trojan Horse to spy on the West. But China is Germany’s biggest trade partner and the biggest market for German companies. And so the country has sought a less drastic solution that would allow Huawei and other Chinese firms to compete for infrastructure contracts normally.

Huawei saluted Germany’s decision, which still needs to be ratified by its parliament.

“This means that there are higher and equal security standards for all suppliers for the 5G networks,” a Huawei spokesperson said.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Germany Approves Huawei for its 5G Networks”

  1. sherlockholmes

    Yeah sure, like crazy Horst knows anything at all about tech.

  2. Mark from CO

    And the UK is not the only European country to bar Huawei and other Chinese firms.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Let's see. Belgium’s center for cybersecurity has found no evidence that telecoms equipment supplied by Huawei Technology could be used for spying. [Denmark] has chosen Sweden’s Ericsson to build core elements of its new 5G mobile network following a decision last year not to select China’s Huawei. (Not a ban) France ... will not ban Huawei. Hungary ... opened the way for Huawei to be involved in the rollout of its high-speed 5G network. Italy has denied a report it will ban Huawei and ZTE from playing a role in building its fifth-generation mobile phone network. The Netherlands is still exploring options for 5G and had not yet formed an opinion on the possible role of Chinese companies. Norway does not plan to block China’s Huawei Technologies from building the country’s 5G telecoms network. Poland might impose stricter security demands for core elements of its future 5G network than for other areas of the system, the digital minister said, a move that could give telecom operators more choice over suppliers than states with more sweeping rules. Sweden has banned Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE ... but this decision is opposed by Swedish telecoms regulator PTS and Ericsson. So ... country? I guess.
  3. IanYates82

    Australia was among the first to ban Huawei from 5G, partially at the behest of the US and other five eye nations.

    That decision (among several other steps in the road for sure) has resulted in a trade war between Australia and China where, unlike the US, Australia is a *much* smaller economy so we're going to feel some pain.

    I'm not sure how we resolve that one. Geopolitics mixing with other things is messy.

    The worry is a back-door in the gear - either for monitoring or as a kill switch. Only a code audit, and strict independent firewalls from another vendor, could protect against that concern (beyond the obvious good faith of a vendor a contract enforces). That could be what the Germans decided upon?

  4. geoff

    I suspect Germany got this right.

    No one is trustworthy, so trust no one. Take steps to secure your stuff, and verify everything.

    And when you want 5G, buy the best gear you can get on the best deal you can get. Don't play favourites, play business.

    If Huawei gets the deal, so be it.

    I wish Australia had independent thinkers in the government ranks too.

  5. truerock2

    In my opinion, the countries Germany should be most concerned about are:

    1. China
    2. Iran
    3. North Korea