As several European countries continue to debate their policies regarding 5G network suppliers, Germany has been considering prohibiting certain components from two well known Chinese companies – Huawei and ZTE – from its telecom networks. According to a government source, this potential ban by the German nation is indeed taking place despite the fact that it may be viewed as anti-Chinese sentiment, which could result in some negative consequences. The controversy surrounding the presence of these two companies revolves around allegations that their close ties with the Chinese government open up opportunities for spying or sabotage by China. In response to such claims, China has argued that such insinuations are nothing more than protectionism practices. In 2021, Germany passed an IT security law setting high standards for any 5G suppliers operating within its borders. While this was certainly a step in the right direction from a security standpoint, it stopped short of outright banning any specific company by name. Despite British and Swedish authorities imposing bans on both Huawei and ZTE when it comes to 5G critical equipment, there has yet to be any indication that Germany will be following suit at this stage.
For now, German officials will be proceeding with caution as they weigh all their options regarding a potential ban of Huawei or ZTE components from its telecom networks. As always in politics and industry, time will tell what ultimate measure will be taken. In the meantime, other European countries are also looking at their 5G supplier policies and what measures they can take to ensure a safe and secure telecom infrastructure. While many of the major players in Europe have yet to make any definitive decisions, it is clear that security concerns still remain top of mind for many policy makers. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how this evolving situation plays out in the coming months and what measures are ultimately taken by Germany and other countries when it comes to Huawei and ZTE. It is a complex issue that requires close monitoring nonetheless, as any decision taken now could have far reaching impacts for years to come. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, it is clear that security concerns around 5G networks will remain a pertinent issue as Europe continues to review its telecom policies. Only time will tell what steps are taken and how this particular situation pans out in 2021 and beyond.