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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The US is stepping up pressure on Europe to ditch Huawei

The US is stepping up pressure on Europe to ditch Huawei

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned European countries on Monday that using technology from Huawei could hurt their relationship with the United States.

Speaking in Hungary, the first stop in a five-nation European tour, Pompeo said the United States has an obligation to alert other governments to the risks of building networks with equipment from the Chinese telecommunications giant.

"What's imperative is that we share with them the things we know about the risks that Huawei's presence in their networks presents," he said. "Actual risks to their own people, to the loss of privacy protections for their own people, the risk that China will use this data in a way that is not in the best interest of Hungary."

If countries use Huawei equipment, "it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them," Pompeo said.

The US government has long been suspicious that Beijing could use Huawei equipment for spying but hasn't provided public evidence to support those concerns. Washington is now pressuring countries around the world to keep Huawei out of the next generation of wireless networks, known as 5G.

There is particular concern about the security of 5G because it will be used to carry vast amounts of data that can connect robots, autonomous vehicles and other potentially sensitive devices.

Huawei, which is also one of the world's top smartphone makers, has repeatedly denied that its products pose a national security risk. It also maintains that it is a privately owned company with no ties to the Chinese government.

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