The EU Has Decided: the Chinese Firm Will Be Well Accepted in Europe, but at the Price of Some Concessions

Currently at the heart of all the debates, Huawei’s presence in Europe to develop 5G is worrying, especially when Washington – in the midst of a trade war with China – is urging its allies to exclude the Chinese giant. The EU has decided: the Chinese firm will be well accepted in Europe, but at the price of some concessions.

Credits: JDG

The arrival of 5G in Europe – and in the world – necessarily leads to new installations. While the United States has gone to war with Huawei, one of the world’s leading network equipment manufacturers, the question of whether or not to accept the Chinese group’s equipment in Europe is currently at the heart of the debate in the EU. To top it all off, Washington is putting pressure on its European allies to exclude Huawei from their future 5G facilities, even going so far as to provide “evidence” to Berlin of supposed links between the firm and the Chinese government. Despite fears of espionage and American pressure, the European Union does not give in to hysteria and has just officially accepted Huawei to develop 5G in its member countries… but this will be done at the price of several conditions.

“We in Europe accept everyone but we have rules. These rules are clear and demanding,” said European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton during the announcement of the security measures to be taken to develop 5G in Europe. Huawei equipment will therefore have a strong presence in Europe, just like in the UK, which recently gave the green light to the Chinese brand While the “rules” mentioned here are not overly detailed, Breton says the EU will make “necessary exclusions (…) for critical and sensitive assets (…) such as network management and orchestration functions”, and that each country will necessarily “have to have several sources of suppliers to reduce risks”. In practice, if Huawei equipment will be used properly in the EU, it will be moved away from the “core network” in order to keep control.

In truth, Huawei’s technological lead on 5G is such that the equipment manufacturer is a major player in ensuring that Europe does not fall too far behind the new network standard, although Thierry Breton repeats at leisure that “Europe is not lagging behind 5G”. Present in many countries, particularly in Asia, Huawei is one of the major players in 5G, so much so that the boss of Huawei Europe said that the firm could not be excluded in Europe by the Belgian daily L’Echo,” Challenges notes. “We have forged strong links and laid a solid foundation with our local technology partners. Our technology is state of the art and represents a lot of commercial value to operators. It’s not going to happen,” he predicted.

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