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Banning Huawei Might Hurt Europe’s Plans to Roll Out 5G

Washington has been trying to convince European allies to ban telecommunications gear made by Chinese companies, specifically Huawei and ZTE Corp, over fears that the Chinese government might order employees of those companies to use the devices to spy on or disrupt communications.

While the European companies have been considering the move, they’re running into one huge problem: carriers love the phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Executives claim that Huawei offers superior hardware at lower prices than its competition. If Europe banned devices made by the company, they warn that Europe could potentially fall behind other countries who do sell Huawei products in the rollout of 5G.

All four of Great Britain’s major wireless carriers—Vodafone, Telefonica, Three, and BT Group—have all spoken out against the ban.

Smaller wireless carriers, in particular, depend on Chinese companies not only for phones but also for wireless network equipment, which can be significantly cheaper than its western counterparts.

Washington is targeting European countries in part because they’re expected to roll out 5G sooner, which would power potentially-hackable self-driving cars, factories, and other internet-connected devices.

German officials are also considering a ban on Huawei products in the country.