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Huawei: Banned In Which Countries? List and FAQ

Huawei Technologies faces various product and 5G wireless network project bans; business contract restrictions; security scrutiny; or pushback in various countries. Here’s an FAQ explaining the Huawei controversy, along with a list of countries, organizations and technology companies, and their current business status with the China-based technology giant.

Notes:

  • Initial Publication Date: This article was originally published February 3, 2019.
  • Ongoing Article Updates: This article was most recently updated on February 19, 2019 with new details involving Apple and the United Kingdom.

Q: What Is Huawei Technologies’ business focus?

A: The China-based company is one one the world’s largest providers of telecommunications equipment, networking gear, smartphones and more.


Q: Why are some countries banning or reconsidering product purchases and business relationships with Huawei?

A: Numerous countries allege that the company’s products may purposely contain security holes that China’s government could use for spying purposes. Also, some countries allege that Huawei steals intellectual property from foreign technology companies.



Q: What has Huawei said about the spying allegations?

A: Ren Zhengfei, the company’s billionaire founder, broke years of public silence to dismiss U.S. accusations the telco equipment giant helps Beijing to spy on Western governments. SourceBloomberg, January 15, 2019.


Q: What allegations does Huawei face in terms of intellectual property (IP) and research and development (R&D)?

A: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on January 28, 2019, charged Huawei with bank fraud and stealing trade secrets. In a 13-count indictment DOJ charged Huawei, its chief financial officer, and two affiliated firms with a laundry list of crimes including conspiracy, money laundering, bank and wire fraud, flouting U.S. sanctions on Iran, and obstruction of justice.

Huawei denied the U.S. charges, saying requests to meet with the US Justice Department had been “rejected without explanation.” The company said that the trade secret theft allegations were “already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties.”

Sources: National Review, January 28, 2019 and CNN Business, January 29, 2019.


Q: Why has global discussion about Huawei’s alleged business practices intensified in recent months?

A: Multiple factors have heightened the media coverage and discussion about the company. Questions about Huawei’s business practices have intensified amid the U.S.-China trade war talks. Also, numerous countries and companies worldwide are considering 5G wireless network rollouts. Plus, the U.S. DOJ case against Huawei is now public knowledge. Roll all those variables together, and countries worldwide are trying to decide if or how to permit Huawei to participate in 5G wireless network projects. Source: ChannelE2E compiled reports.



Status Updates: Huawei Product Bans, Discussions and Debates


Q: Which countries, regions, businesses and organizations are banning, debating or rethinking business engagements with Huawei?

A: The list below is fluid and sorted alphabetically. Check back regularly for more updates.


Apple: Huawei has allegedly pursued information about Apple trade secrets. The alleged evidence comes from The Information. Source: The Information, February 18, 2019.

Australia: The country has blocked Huawei and ZTE  from providing equipment for its 5G network, which is set to launch commercially in 2019. Source: TechCrunch, August 2018.


BT: The Britain telecom service provider will pull Huawei equipment out of its core 4G network by 2020 to fit its own internal policy. The move follows reports that the US is trying to persuade foreign allies’ wireless and internet providers to avoid the Chinese company’s equipment, citing cybersecurity risks. Source: CNet, December 2018.



Canada: The country as of early February 2019 was currently considering whether to ban Huawei from providing equipment for 5G cellular networks in Canada. However, at least one small Huawei 5G network rollout is under way in the country. Source: The Globe and Mail, February 1, 2019.


Cisco Systems: Cisco sued Huawei in 2003, alleging that the China-based company stole Cisco source code to build Huawei network routers. Huawei denied those claims, and Cisco ultimately dropped the suit as long as Huawei modified its product line, discontinuing some products. Source: The Verge, January 2018.


Czech Republic: Huawei threatened legal action against the Czech Republic if the country’s cybersecurity agency did not rescind a warning about the risk the company poses to the nation’s critical infrastructure. Source: The New York Times, February 8, 2019.


Denmark: Danish authorities have expelled two Huawei staff after an inspection at the company’s Copenhagen office showed they failed to comply with laws covering residence and work permits. The inspection had no relation to recent headlines around growing scrutiny over Huawei’s ties with the Chinese government and allegations that Beijing could use its technology for spying, something which the company has denied. Source: Reuters, February 4, 2019


Deutsche Telekom: Europe’s biggest telecommunications company, said that if Huawei is banned in Europe, it would delay its deployment of 5G networks by up to two years. To avoid such setbacks, Deutsche Telekom has suggested a new security certification process for mobile network equipment, which would allow telcos in Germany to continue to use products from Chinese vendors in their 5G rollout plans.  Sources: Tom’s Hardware, January 31, 2019 and TotalTele, January 31, 2019.



Europe: Multiple Updates…

  • The European Union is considering proposals that would effectively amount to a de-facto ban on Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks (i.e., 5G Wireless projects). Source: Reuters, January 30, 2019.
  • Huawei is ready to face any extra security measures required to remain in the race to develop next-generation 5G networks in central and eastern Europe, Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer at Huawei Technologies USA, said. Source: Reuters, February 13, 2019.

France: Multiple updates…

  • The French Senate rejected proposed legislation aimed at toughening checks on telecoms equipment, following a U.S. warning about Huawei. Source: Reuters, February 6, 2019.
  • The country will not ban the company. Instead, France, which has safeguards in place for critical parts of its telecoms networks, is considering adding items to its “high-alert” list that tacitly targets Huawei. Source: The Straights Times, December 2018.

Germany: Multiple updates…

  • The German government as of January 2019 was considering banning Huawei from providing 5G equipment in the country saying security concerns are of “high relevance.” The decision to ban Huawei 5G equipment would mark a shift from Germany, which has not been as vocal as other Western countries about security concerns. Source: CNBC, January 18, 2019.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany needs guarantees that China’s Huawei Technologies will not hand over data to the Chinese state before the telecoms equipment supplier can participate in building its 5G network. Source: Reuters, February 5, 2019.
  • The German government will consult further with telecoms operators and vendors before deciding whether to let Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies participate in building future 5G mobile networks. Source: Reuters, February 12, 2019.

GSMA: Mobile communications industry body GSMA has proposed its members discuss the possibility that Chinese network vendor Huawei is excluded from key markets, amid concerns such a development could set operators back by years. Source: Reuters, February 2, 2019.


Italy: The country has denied a report it will ban Huawei and ZTE from playing a role in building its fifth-generation mobile phone network. Source: Reuters, February 7, 2019.


New Zealand: The country’s top intelligence agency has banned controversial Chinese vendor Huawei from supplying equipment for the country’s first 5G mobile network in November 2018. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, November 28. 2018.



Poland: Multiple updates…

  • The country is set to exclude Huawei from its future 5G network in favor of European players following the arrest of an employee from the Chinese telecoms company on suspicion of spying, officials and industry sources say. Source: Reuters, January 24, 2019.
  • Huawei is ready to work with the Polish government on additional steps to build trust, Andy Purdy, chief security officer at Huawei Technologies USA, said. Source: Reuters, February 13, 2019.

Telus: The Vancouver, Canada-based telecom provider says a Huawei equipment ban could delay 5G wireless network rollouts and raise deployment costs. Source: Bloomberg, February 14, 2019.


Thailand: Thailand launched a Huawei 5G test bed on February 8, 2019, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. Source: Reuters, February 8, 2019.


University of Oxford: The university said in January 2018 that it would no longer accept new donations and sponsorships to fund research from Huawei. Source: CNBC, January 18, 2019.


United Kingdom: Multiple updates…

  • British security officials do not support a full ban of Huawei from national telecoms networks despite U.S. allegations the Chinese firm and its products could be used by Beijing for spying. SourceReuters, February 17, 2019.
  • A $2 billion effort by Huawei to address security issues raised in a 2018 British government report will take between three and five years to produce results, according to a Huawei letter to British lawmakers. Source: Reuters, February 6, 2019.
  • A UK government review involving a potential Huawei ban from UK networks should be completed in March 2019, although its findings may be too sensitive to publish. Source: Sky News.

United States:

  • Huawei and ZTE technology will largely be banned from use by the US government and government contractors, according to the Defense Authorization Act, which President Trump signed in August 2018. Source: The Verge, August 2018.
  • President Trump is weighing an executive order that could ban Chinese telecommunications gear from U.S. networks, but the plan is facing resistance from U.S. carriers in rural areas whose networks run on Huawei equipment. Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2019.
  • Huawei is ready to face any extra security measures required to remain in the race to develop next-generation 5G networks in central and eastern Europe, Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer at Huawei Technologies USA, said. Source: Reuters, February 13, 2019.


Verizon Communications: The telecom giant in early January 2018 dropped all plans to sell Huawei phones under pressure from the U.S. government, according to people familiar with the matter. The move followed AT&T’s decision in early January 2018 not to introduce the Mate 10 Pro to the U.S. market. Huawei devices still work on both companies’ networks, but direct sales would’ve allowed them to reach more consumers than they can through third parties. Source: Bloomberg, January 29, 2018.


Vodafone:

  • Although it will replace Huawei from its core infrastructure, it will not replace the company’s technology in radio access networks. Source: Tom’s Hardware, January 31, 2019.
  • The company has “paused” deployment of Huawei equipment in its core networks until Western governments give the Chinese firm full security clearance. However, Vodafone has Huawei as one of its technology partners in 5G testing in Milan. Source: Reuters, February 7, 2019.

Updates: Send updates and perspectives to ChannelE2E Content Czar Joe Panettieri (Joe@AfterNines.com).

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