Europe allows Huawei for 5G through security guidelines

But EU states must maintain diversity in their 5G suppliers, and limit access to core networks.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
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Hot on the heels of the UK approving Huawei for 5G , the European Commission has on Wednesday published a "toolbox" green lighting but restricting the use of higher-risk vendors. While the Chinese tech giant isn't named in the toolbox, EU states are asked to objectively assess risks and adopt mitigating measures to ensure the security of their 5G rollouts, as reported earlier by The Verge.

Mainly, EU states have been told to apply restrictions to key network assets like core networks for suppliers with higher-risk profiles, and maintain "a diverse and sustainable 5G supply chain in order to avoid long-term dependency."

The rules are similar to those adopted by the UK after Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved Huawei for 5G Tuesday. The British restrictions are to exclude Huawei from building core parts of the UK's 5G networks, have Huawei's market share capped at 35% and exclude Huawei from sensitive geographic locations.

Huawei's 5G approval came despite the US urging the UK to ban the Chinese telecommunications giant. Reuters reported Wednesday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is asking the UK to revisit its decision. "Our view of Huawei has been that putting it in your system creates real risk," Pompeo told reporters, with the State Department confirming the remarks. "We'll evaluate what the United Kingdom did."

Huawei and the Department of State didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Huawei was blacklisted in May when it was added to the United States' "entity list" (PDF). In addition to adding Huawei to the list, US President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.

Huawei was also banned for 5G in Australia in August 2018.

Originally published Jan. 29, 2:53 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:59 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Department of State.

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