BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany expects Huawei to demonstrate it can meet its security requirements for participating in the building of the country’s 5G network, the economy minister Peter Altmaier said after meeting with the company’s chief executive officer on Friday.
In March, Germany set tougher criteria for vendors of telecoms network equipment, stopping short of singling out Huawei for special treatment and instead saying the same rules should apply to all vendors.
That decision came after months of debate over whether to side with the United States and some allies in barring Huawei, the global market leader, from 5G networks due to concerns over the firm’s ties to the Chinese government.
After meeting Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei in Shanghai, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said: “I made it very clear that telecommunication security is of high importance, that we expect all operators to fulfill our security requirements and that it is now Huawei’s duty to show us that they are able to do so.”
A spokeswoman for Altmaier said he had also stressed that the protection of citizens’ data and compliance with German law were key.
She said Altmaier and Zhengfei had discussed legal and technical security issues surrounding 5G expansion, cloud structures, as well as the automation of manufacturing technologies and related data exchange, which is known as “industry 4.0”.
Huawei declined to comment on the meeting.
German telecoms operators have opposed Washington’s call to ban Huawei, warning that any requirement to rip out and replace Huawei equipment in existing networks could delay the rollout of 5G networks by years.
Germany’s pricey 5G spectrum auction came to an end earlier this month.
(Reporting by Christian Kraemer in Berlin and Sijia Jang in Hong Kong; Writing by Riham Alkousaa and Michelle Martin; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Thomas Escritt)