By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States wants to steer people away from Huawei towards Western products because of its concerns over the security of the Chinese company’s technology, the U.S. envoy to the European Union said on Thursday.
Gordon Sondland said that there was classified evidence on security breaches by the Chinese firm, saying he had raised the U.S. concerns with EU officials.
“The U.S. is very supportive of the discouraging the purchase of any Chinese digital products that involve potential national security implications and steering people away from Huawei into Western products is our desired outcome,” Sondland told Reuters before an event in Brussels.
Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones. It derives nearly half of its total revenue outside China and its global reach has come under attack from the United States, which is trying to prevent U.S. companies from buying Huawei equipment and is pressing allies to do the same.
U.S. security experts are worried the gear could be used by China for espionage, a concern Huawei says is unfounded
Asked about security issues with Huawei’s products, Sondland said: “There is a lot of evidence, most of it classified.”
The EU is considering proposals that would amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei kit for next-generation mobile networks, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The United States and Australia are among Western nations that have already restricted Huawei from the 5G mobile networks.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Alexander Smith)