Despite concerns that Huawei would allow the Chinese government to tap into data from the cellular networks it has equipment in, many governments have been hesitant to lock the telecom firm out of supplying their 5G grid — the company is considered to be a cheaper, but proficient alternative to market leader Qualcomm when it comes to modems and interconnect equipment.
Now, one of the leading forces against Huawei is flexing its diplomatic ties with one of the hesitant governments.
The Wall Street Journal reports that US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has sent a letter to the country’s economic minister stating that allowing any Chinese company to participate in building a 5G network in Germany would be a limiting condition for the United States to continue its intelligence-sharing relationship at its current level.
CNN reports that the spokesperson for the German embassy in Washington has confirmed reception of a letter, but did not divulge details.
Germany intelligence officials said on Friday that the country would not ban Huawei from its 5G networks and would be able to manage the risk presented by subjecting all vendors’ equipment to independent testing and warning carriers to be vigilant about traffic monitoring.
The United States, meanwhile, has been pressing Huawei with lawsuits alleging that it stole intellectual property from T-Mobile and that it flaunted trade sanctions on Iran while defrauding banks on its behavior.
Huawei has denied any wrongdoing, sued the US over its federal bans on its equipment and insists that it would not allow Beijing access into its networks — putting the company in danger of breaching Article 7 of the National Intelligence Law enacted in 2017 that mandates compliance in secrecy with the government’s intelligence gathering work.