Germany to consult U.S. over Huawei security fears: Merkel

Angela Merkel

In a letter sent by the United States ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grenell, the United States has warned Germany that it will reduce intelligence sharing if Germany allows Huawei to build its 5G infrastructure, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The move would shake up Germany's security sector, which relies on intelligence from the NSA, CIA, and other American agencies.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is an agent of the Chinese government.

USA officials declined to say whether other countries have received or would receive similar warnings.

The US has been lobbying its allies to boycott Huawei due to national security risks.

Last week, Huawei sued the USA government for banning federal agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment - a restriction in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

But Huawei's 5G equipment is reputed to much further advanced than those of rivals Ericsson and Nokia, which has made it attractive for mobile operators looking to quickly roll out new networks. "The 5G networks our allies buy won't be the networks that they eventually operate, as the software could be changed on a moment-to-moment basis by the manufacturer".

Germany's Ministry of Economics confirmed it had received a letter from the US and that it would soon respond.

The German Economy Ministry confirmed that the letter had been received. Huawei and ZTE already face restrictions on the American domestic market, while USA officials are leaning on other nations to exclude China from the lucrative upgrade of wireless infrastructure to 5G standard.

Grenell specifically addressed this point by warning that Chinese law requires all corporations to support Chinese spy agencies upon demand, so there is no way to permanently ensure the security of Huawei products by inspecting them at the time of purchase.

The U.S. clash with Huawei includes a deep disagreement over the arrest in Canada and possible extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also the founder's daughter.

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