Germany plans to ban using Chinese components from 5G networks

Germany is set to prohibit telecom operators’ usage of certain components manufactured by the Chinese Huawei and ZTE in 5G networks, an informed government source said on Tuesday.

Thorsten Benner, China expert and director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin explained it remains “unclear what the critical components are that will be identified by the authorities.”

The two firms are criticised for their close ties with Beijing’s security services. These ties, in turn, could compromise the security of communications infrastructure in the face of China.

Noah Barkin, managing editor with research firm Rhodium Group’s China practice stated that this movement signals a serious official concern about national security risks related to China.

Barkin, however, referred to the possibility this step came late, adding “the German 5G network is deeply dependent on Chinese suppliers. It will take many years to unwind this.”

The Chinese government and firms on their side refuse the allegations they pose national security threat. A Huawei spokesperson said it has maintained a “very good security record” since it started providing its services to Germany and other parts of the world.

Sweden and Britain have also introduced a similar ban, requiring telecom providers to remove components and services from Huawei used in core network functions.

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