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11 Oct, 2020 13:59

China's Huawei hopes to hold on to Europe's 5G networks amid US sanctions pressure

China's Huawei hopes to hold on to Europe's 5G networks amid US sanctions pressure

Despite US attempts to cut off the world's largest telecom equipment supplier from major markets, Huawei says it can still assist its European customers in developing key 5G infrastructures.

Huawei has been locked in an intensifying trade and political spat between the US and China since last year, when it was added to the infamous Entity List that barred American businesses from dealing with the Chinese firm without getting a special license from the government. The pressure has intensified this year, as Washington blocked companies using American technology from supplying chips to Huawei.

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The situation has only worsened since August, Huawei's senior European executive noted in an interview to Austrian newspaper, Kurier. While the major Chinese tech firm denies US spying allegations, the official believes that US lobbying against the firm is merely a price for success as Washington seeks to push out other players in an attempt to dominate the 5G sector. 

“Nevertheless, we are confident that we can continue to serve our European customers in the 5G sector because of many preparations and upfront investments with the most advanced technology,” Abraham Liu, Huawei's vice president for Europe, told the outlet.

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Huawei, which has recently surpassed Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone maker, now fears that US sanctions will bring “great difficulties” to its private customers. According to Liu, some 90 million of European users could face problems without Google's updates for their Android-run Huawei phones and the company is “still looking for a solution.”

Most European countries have been initially reluctant to cave in to US pressure and exclude Huawei from next generation networks on security grounds. While European countries are still trying to find common ground on Huawei, with major powers such as France and Germany still refusing to exclude any particular company from the 5G market, some countries, like the UK, have already made a U-turn in their approach. Earlier this week, telecoms operators Orange and Proximus decided to drop Huawei from building 5G networks in Belgium.

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