New U.S. sanctions against Huawei put pressure on Europe’s 5G plans

The Chinese company Huawei is said to serve as a supplier for 5G network expansion in many places.

AP Photo / Andy Wong, File

US sanctions against the Chinese network supplier and mobile phone manufacturer Huawei have been in place for a year. An agreement in the conflict is far from in sight – only recently the United States announced that it would step up its measures against the company. Chip manufacturers are no longer allowed to work for Huawei if they use software or machines from the USA.

At the center of the dispute are allegations of espionage. The United States fear that the company can secretly access cellular communications. So far, there is no clear evidence. Huawei denies the allegations.

US sanctions are also putting 5G plans in European countries under pressure

The tightened measures are also putting some European countries under pressure. Because many mobile phone providers have already signed contracts to cooperate with the Chinese company to expand the 5G network. A Guardian report suggests that the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) may conclude that the Chinese equipment supplier’s technology cannot be used in the UK as planned.

The newspaper quotes a British government spokesman: “Following the announcement by the United States to impose additional sanctions on Huawei, the NCSC is carefully reviewing what impact it could have on British networks.” Conversely, this means that Huawei will be out of the Britain’s 5G networks could be banned.

Huawei cut off from supply by TSMC

Huawei has been relying more and more on its own chips since the US blockade introduced in May 2019. But even with these, US technology is often used, the US Department of Commerce said.

The new measure cuts Huawei off from the supply from the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC. This was the company’s most important manufacturing facility to date. The largest Chinese semiconductor manufacturer SMIC has already announced that it intends to comply with US regulations. This would also mean that this manufacturing facility would no longer be available to Huawei in the future, reports the specialist newspaper “Markt & Technik”.

One of the company’s evasive moves could be to buy chips from competitors such as the Taiwanese company MediaTek or the Chinese semiconductor manufacturer Unisoc, the article says.

Germany’s dealings with Huawei remain uncertain

Meanwhile, German voices are also taking part in the discussion about the tightened sanctions imposed by the US government. The CDU politician Norbert Röttgen said in an interview with the “Handelsblatt”: “The new US sanctions have increased the economic risk of working with Huawei enormously, because without American chips, the company may find it difficult to Expand the infrastructure as planned. ”Röttgen has been promoting the use of European network suppliers such as Ericsson and Nokia for a long time.

The SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag is also critical of the Chinese group. In a position paper published in December 2019, the social democrats for 5G expansion advocated a European approach without Huawei technology. Chancellor Angela Merkel fundamentally rejects a blanket exclusion of providers. A final decision by the federal government is still pending.

China announces countermeasures

As a countermeasure to the tightened sanctions against Huawei, China has threatened the US companies Appel, Cisco, Qualcomm and Boeing with its own restrictions.

As the Chinese government-affiliated newspaper The Global Times reported, China is willing to put US companies on a list reserved for unreliable organizations. Therefore, the US corporations would have to face investigations and restrictions.


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