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U.S. reportedly asks foreign allies to stop using Huawei carrier equipment

The U.S. government is reportedly urging foreign allies to stop using hardware from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in local carrier networks.

The push, which was detailed by the Wall Street Journal today, is said to have seen American officials reach out to both government counterparts and telecommunications executives. The unnamed sources who shared the information said that the effort has focused primarily on friendly countries where Huawei gear is already widely used.

Germany, Italy and Japan are said to be among the allies that officials are trying to persuade. In an indication of how seriously the initiative is being pursued, the Journal reported that the government is considering to offer financial incentives for countries that back the effort.

The push is reportedly driven by concerns that internet traffic from U.S. military bases located overseas could potentially be put at risk if it travels over a network running on Huawei hardware. Authorities have already banned government use of Huawei gear inside the United States.

Furthermore, retail stores located within domestic military bases are not allowed to sell mobile devices made by the firm’s consumer business, which ranks as the second-largest smartphone supplier in the world. The ban came into effect after the FBI, the CIA and the NSA cautioned that Americans shouldn’t buy Huawei devices because they could be used for espionage.

Some key U.S. allies have already put Huawei under the microscope. Australia recently blocked Huawei and ZTE Corp., another Chinese telecommunications supplier, from selling 5G wireless equipment to network operators. The U.K. government this month launched a review of the local carrier landscape that is expected to increase scrutiny of Huawei’s activities.

Another market where the firm could soon face more pressure is Canada. Last month, Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to prevent local carriers from using Huawei equipment in their next-generation 5G networks.

Photo: A4-Nieuws/ Flickr

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