Germany Could Let Huawei Build Internet Infrastructure Despite U.S. Concerns
The United States government has major concerns about Huawei and its alleged potential to spy on countries through its Internet infrastructure. But Germany might see things differently.
Several German ministries will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative group on Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of allowing Huawei to bring its 5G Internet infrastructure into the country, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The meeting will be held after Germany’s cybersecurity experts and several ministries inside the government reportedly concluded that fears of Huawei using Internet infrastructure to spy on Germany are overblown.
Although the decision to allow Huawei in to Germany could take considerable time and require approvals at different levels of government, even the thought of doing it could anger the United States. Huawei has been blocked from bringing its technology, which powers and facilitates Internet-based communications, from the U.S. over fears that it could spy on Americans for the Chinese government. Huawei has categorically denied all allegations that it has the capacity to, or would even try to, spy on people through its technology.
Germany has been struggling to keep pace with other European countries in building its next-generation high-speed Internet. With 5G technology now being deployed around the world, Germany needs a company to help it catch up—and Huawei could be one of those companies.
Currently in its nascent stage, 5G is widely viewed as a major breakthrough in Internet connectivity. It allows for much faster connections and more bandwidth, which would let more traffic flow through the same connection. The technology is viewed as the precursor to other major technological advancements, including self-driving cars, that need to require near-instant communication.
Huawei is still a long ways off from getting the approvals it needs to start building Internet infrastructure in Germany. However, if it is allowed into the country, it could be subject to new telecommunications laws Germany is drafting, according to the Journal. Those laws will require all companies to say they won’t spy on German communications and will require them to adopt stricter security guidelines.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment.