A draft version of a new set of security requirements for telecommunications networks in Germany does not contain a controversial clause that would effectively ban China’s Huawei from taking part in the construction of 5G networks, Handelsblatt newspaper reports, citing an obtained document.
According to the outlet, the previously discussed provision, which required 5G network components to be acquired from "trusted suppliers" only, disappeared from the new regulation's text after pressure from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel. This means that Huawei, whose products’ security standards have been questioned by the US, will still be able to participate in the construction of the high-speed information network for the EU’s largest economy.
Handelsblatt further indicates that the draft document, which could be published at the end of this or at the beginning of the next year, delegates the right to determine what constitutes critical infrastructure to the network operators themselves. Critical or core infrastructure of 5G networks will, however, be subject to inspections by Germany's Office for Information Security, which will check if the components are fully manageable and able to pass safety tests.
Huawei's access to 5G markets around the world was endangered by US actions in 2019, after Washington threatened to cut its allies' access to intelligence-sharing programmes if they don't ban the Chinese giant from their high-speed networks. The US claims that Huawei is cooperating with the Chinese government and is helping it spy on its clients by installing backdoors in its equipment.
Both Huawei and Beijing deny the allegations and have slammed the US for what they consider to be false accusations. Most countries have ignored Washington's threats, with the UK reportedly mulling over granting the Chinese company access to non-critical infrastructure and France giving its operators a carte-blanche on whether or not to use Huawei's equipment. However, several countries, namely Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, have listened to the US exhortations and banned the tech giant from their 5G networks.