Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

For the first time, the two Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers are directly named in the European Commission’s report published on Thursday.

The European Commission is raising its voice. According to a report published on Thursday June 15, Brussels considers that the two Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE represent “a risk to the security of the Union”. The body will therefore no longer subscribe to mobile service offers based on these two companies’ equipment, and calls on the 27 member countries and the continent’s telecoms operators to do the same.

“We cannot afford to maintain dependencies that could become weapons against our interests. This would be too great a risk for our common security”, said Thierry Breton, Internal Market Commissioner, at a press conference in Brussels.

Accused of espionage on several occasions, Chinese companies such as those pinpointed by the Commission are in the sights of the authorities in several Western countries, including the USA, Canada and the UK. Within the EU, several countries have already banned Huawei from their 5G networks, including Denmark and Sweden.

The Commission “will take measures to avoid exposing its business communications to the use of mobile networks that count Huawei and ZTE among their equipment manufacturers.” This will apply to “all Commission sites, including offices in member states.” This line should be applied to “all relevant EU funding programs and instruments.”

“Significantly higher risks than other 5G providers”

The European Union is thus revising its cybersecurity toolbox for 5G networks, which dated back to 2020. The aim was to prevent any risk of espionage or sabotage. Three years on, the Commission has now directly singled out Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, which “present significantly higher risks than other 5G suppliers”, as stated in the press release following the meeting.

In all, twenty-four of the EU’s twenty-seven member states have already implemented the 2020 recommendations in their national legislation. “To date, only ten of them have used these prerogatives to restrict or exclude high-risk suppliers. This is too slow. This poses a major security risk and exposes the Union’s collective security”, said Thierry Breton.

The day after the announcement, Portugal had already said it was ready to exclude Huawei from the 5G network. The Iberian peninsula country had become one of the most welcoming for Chinese investment since the 2011 financial crisis.

By admin