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Exclusive: EU to drop threat of Huawei ban, but wants to 5G risks monitored – sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will next week urge EU countries to get more data to address cybersecurity risks in related to 5G networks, but it ignores US calls for a ban Huawei Technologies, four people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk along a board of Huawei at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2018 in Shanghai, China, June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

European digital chief Andrus Ansip will present the recommendation on Tuesday. While the guidance has no legal force, the conduct of political weight that can eventually lead to national legislation in the countries of the European Union.

The United States has been lobbying in Europe to connect Huawei says its devices can be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Huawei has strongly rejected the allegations and earlier this month sued the U.S. government on the issue.

Ansip will tell EU countries to use instruments under the EU directive on the safety of the network and information systems, or NIS directive, in 2016, and the recently approved Cybersecurity Act, the people said.

For example, the member states should exchange information and co-ordination of impact assessment studies on the safety risks and the certification process for internet-connected devices and 5G equipment.

The Commission will not call for a ban on the global leading Huawei, involving EU countries to decide on national security grounds.

“It is a recommendation for the improvement of the exchange on the assessment of the safety of digital critical infrastructure,” said one of the sources said.

The Commission said that the recommendation would stress a common european approach to security risks 5G networks.

The EU executive guidance marks a tougher stance on Chinese investment after years of nearly unbridled European openness to China, which controls 70 percent of the global supply of the critical raw materials needed to make high-tech goods.

The measures, taken on board, is a part of what the French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday it was a “European awakening” about potential Chinese dominance, after the EU leaders held a first debate on the China policy summit.

Germany this month set of stringent criteria for all telecom equipment vendors, without single out Huawei and ignoring the AMERICAN press.

Large telecom operators oppose a Huawei ban, saying such a step would be able to back 5G implementation in the eu per year. In contrast, Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their networks.

The industry sees 5G as the next money spinner, with the promise to be everything from cars and household appliances.

In addition to the Huawei issue, the block is also going to discuss Chinese subsidies, the intervention of the state in the Chinese economy and more access to the Chinese market in an EU-China summit on 9 April.

Writing by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Edmund Blair

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