04:17 GMT02 December 2020
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    Washington’s crackdown on Huawei has been in place since May 2019, when the US Department of Commerce blacklisted the Chinese tech giant, accusing the company of cooperating with China's intelligence services, allegations that both Beijing and the firm vehemently reject.

    Several top Brazilian telecom companies have rejected an American Embassy invitation to meet a US official who earlier called for excluding Huawei from the South American country’s 5G network market, Reuters cited an unnamed industry source as saying on Friday.

    The claims followed the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reporting earlier this week about US Ambassador Todd Chapman’s invitation for the companies Telefonica Brasil SA, Grupo Oi SA, TIM Participacoes SA, and Claro to meet with Keith Krach, US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and environment, in Sao Paulo on Monday.

    The newspaper added that the firms, which control between 19% and 29% of Brazil’s wireless market each, currently use Huawei equipment as they prepare for the auctioning of spectrum concessions scheduled for next year in the Latin American nation.

    According to the daily, the companies have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with Washington’s crusade against Huawei.

    Neither the firms nor the US Embassy have commented on the source’s remarks yet.

    The reported developments come after Krach hit out at Huawei last month, accusing the Chinese tech giant of providing Beijing with “the capacity to disrupt or weaponise critical applications in infrastructure or provide technological advances to China’s military forces”.

    The allegations were preceded by the US undersecretary claiming in August that Brazil “deserves access to open, innovative, and trusted 5G technology” now that Huawei had ostensibly “escalated its already aggressive lobbying and media campaigns, including in Brazil”.

    US Crackdown on Huawei

    In a separate development in August, the Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the recent US sanctions against Huawei, urging Washington to stop discrediting Chinese companies.

    The criticism came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington was introducing restrictions against three dozen of Huawei’s affiliates in 21 countries.

    The move was part of the White House’s crackdown on the company which kicked off in May 2019, when the Trump administration blocked government contractors from using Huawei gear and barred the firm from buying US-made equipment, including chips.

    Washington suspects that Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer, is helping Beijing steal commercial secrets and collect personal data, allegations that both Huawei and the Chinese authorities deny.

    The US is also trying to discourage countries from allowing Huawei to take part in building national 5G networks using similar claims, despite rejections from a spate of countries, including Germany and France, as well as some Canadian telecom providers.

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