23:16 GMT22 February 2020
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    There is no consensus in the European Union on whether to allow Huawei to build national 5G infrastructure. The United Kingdom on Tuesday became the latest country to give the Chinese tech giant a limited role in its 5G infrastructure.

    The European Union on Wednesday announced strict recommendations for the deployment of 5G communications infrastructure, stopping short of banning Huawei in defiance of pressure from Washington.

    The non-binding recommendations, set out by the European Commission, call for "relevant restrictions" to be applied at national and EU-wide level to "high-risk" suppliers, without specifying any companies.

    The guidelines recommend EU member states to screen operators and assess the risks posed by telecoms equipment vendors; they also encourage European countries to exclude risky suppliers from sensitive infrastructure.

    The European Commission effectively left the decision on whether to ban Huawei or any other supplier up to individual states and said that they should avoid "major dependency on a single supplier" and "dependency on suppliers considered to be high risk".

    "Today we are equipping EU member states, telecoms operators and users with the tools to build and protect a European infrastructure with the highest security standards so we all fully benefit from the potential that 5G has to offer," said European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton.

    Huawei welcomed the 5G guidelines, calling them "non-biased".

    These new measures largely mirror Britain's decision on Huawei: Boris Johnson's government on Tuesday allowed Huawei to supply 35 percent of non-core infrastructure for 5G networks, such as radio masts and antennas, and banned it from core services including authentication of customers and data storage.

    Huawei, the world's No.1 vendor of telecoms equipment, competes in Europe with two major local telecom companies, Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia.

    The United States has been pushing its allies in Europe and elsewhere to shut Huawei out of 5G altogether, citing allegations that the company is using backdoors in its equipment to eavesdrop on communications in other countries on behalf of the Chinese government. Huawei denies those claims and says it's willing to sign no-spy agreements with foreign governments.

    Tags:
    5G, Huawei, United States, European Union
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