Huawei: Banned and Permitted 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.
This situation escalated in May 2019, when multiple chip companies cut off supplies to Huawei amid new U.S. regulations against the China-based networking and smartphone giant.
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.
- Initial Publication Date: This article was originally published February 3, 2019.
- Ongoing Article Updates: This article was most recently updated on August 21, 2019 with new details from Huawei and the United States of America.
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. Source: Bloomberg, January 15, 2019.
A2: Huawei is willing to sign “no-spy” agreements with governments, including Britain, the Chinese telco company’s chairman said, amid U.S. pressure on European countries to shun the firm over espionage concerns. Source: Reuters, May 14, 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.
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: Multiple updates…
- 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.
- A formal WTO challenge by China to Australia’s decision banning Chinese companies from its 5G networks would force the federal government to justify its ban either on the grounds that it does not discriminate against any country or manufacturer, or that the decision was based on national security requirements. Source: The Australian Financial Review, April 15, 2019.
Bahrain: Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, plans to roll out a commercial 5G mobile network by June 2019, partly using Huawei technology despite the United States’ concerns the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment could be used for spying. Source: Reuters, March 26, 2019.
Belgium: Belgium’s center for cybersecurity has found no evidence that telecoms equipment supplied by Huawei Technology could be used for spying. Source: Reuters, April 15, 2019.
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 CNet, December 2018.foreign allies’ wireless and internet providers to avoid the Chinese company’s equipment, citing cybersecurity risks. Source:
Canada: Multiple updates include…
- 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.
- Canada is likely to postpone a decision on whether to allow China’s to supply 5G network equipment until after the October 2019 federal election, given increasingly strained relations with Beijing, say three well-placed sources. Source: Reuters, July 15, 2019.
- Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou allegedly told a Canadian border official that the company has an office in Iran — an assertion potentially buttressing U.S. claims that the Chinese tech giant engaged in activities there that violated U.S. sanctions. Source: Bloomberg, August 21, 2019.
China: China on May 16, 2019, slammed a decision by the U.S. government to put telecom equipment giant Huawei on a blacklist and said it will take steps to protect its companies, in a further test of ties as the superpowers clash over trade. Source: Reuters, May 16, 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.
- The European Commission the week of March 25, 2019, will urge EU countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks but will ignore U.S. calls to ban Huawei Technologies, four people familiar with the matter said on March 22, 2019. Source: Reuters, March 22, 2019.
- European countries appear to be tightening network security regulations rather than outright banning Huawei’s technology. Source: Bloomberg, April 15, 2019.
- A ban on buying telecoms equipment from Chinese firms would add about 55 billion euros ($62 billion) to the cost of 5G networks in Europe and delay the technology by about 18 months. Source: Reuters, June 7, 2019.
- The rollout of 5G services across Europe has being slowed by U.S. sanctions against Huawei and as European governments review the impact of using Chinese equipment, the head of Swedish telecoms group Tele2 said. Source: Reuters, July 1, 2019.
Facebook: Facebook is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones. Source: Reuters, June 7, 2019.
FedEx: Huawei is reviewing its relationship with FedEx after it claimed the U.S. package delivery company, without detailed explanation, diverted two parcels destined for Huawei addresses in Asia to the United States and attempted to reroute two others. Source: Reuters, May 27, 2019.
France: Multiple updates…
- 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.
- 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.
- France Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said a decision by France regarding the 5G telecoms network would be based on security and performance of networks, and added that Paris would not rule out a specific operator as not being welcome. The statement essentially confirms that Huawei can compete for 5G network business in France, though the company’s technology is expected to face intense scrutiny. Source: Reuters, May 21, 2019.
- Huawei won’t be allowed to access French users’ location data even if the Chinese company’s equipment is used in the rollout of France’s 5G network, according to the head of the French cybersecurity agency. Source: Bloomberg, June 6, 2019.
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.
- The Trump administration has told the German government it would limit intelligence sharing with Berlin if Huawei is allowed to build Germany’s next-generation mobile-internet infrastructure. Source: Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2019.
- Germany will define its own security standards for a new 5G mobile network, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on March 11, after Washington said it would scale back data-sharing with Berlin if China’s Huawei was allowed to participate. Source: Reuters, March 12, 2019.
- Germany has no plans to stop Huawei from participating in 5G networks in the country if Huawei complies with security requirements. Source: CNBC, April 15, 2019.
Google: Multiple updates…
- Google Android Smartphones: Huawei is pinning its hopes on a self-designed operating system (called Hongmeng) to replace Google’s Android following a U.S. blacklisting. Source: The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2019.
- Google & National Security: Alphabet’s Google has warned if the U.S. administration moves ahead with sweeping ban on Huawei Technologies, it risks compromising national security. Source: The Financial Times, June 7, 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.
Huawei: The company has repeatedly and firmly denied claims that its gear represents a spying risk for customers. Among the additional updates:
- Huawei kicked off a trade secrets lawsuit in the United States on June 3, 2019 against a former employee who has sought to turn the case into a referendum on Huawei’s corporate behavior. Source: Reuters, June 3, 2019.
- Huawei is selling its majority slice of its global submarine cable division, exiting the business of laying undersea piping for the Internet just weeks after the Trump administration blocked it from buying American technology. Source: Bloomberg, June 3, 2019.
- Huawei has applied to trademark its “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) in at least nine countries and Europe, data from a U.N. body shows, in a sign it may be deploying a back-up plan in key markets as U.S. sanctions threaten its business model, Reuters reports. Source: Reuters, June 13, 2019.
- Huawei has sued the U.S. over the seizure of telecommunications equipment by American officials who were investigating whether the gear required an export license to leave the country. Source: Bloomberg, June 21, 2019.
- Huawei disputed findings from a U.S. cybersecurity firm that its gear is far more likely to contain flaws than equipment from rival companies, characterizing the analysis as incomplete and inaccurate. Source: The Wall Street Journal reports. July 5, 2019.
- Huawei’s revenue grew roughly 30 percent in the first half of 2019 after select teams secured critical supplies to keep production going despite U.S. technology export restrictions. Source: Bloomberg and Reuters, July 23, 2019.
- Huawei secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network. Such a move would raise questions of whether Huawei, which has used U.S. technology in its components, violated American export controls to furnish North Korea with equipment. Source: Reuters, July 22, 2019.
- Huawei cemented its dominance of the domestic smartphone market in the second quarter, with shipments and market share rising, as Chinese customers backed the embattled firm amid its trade fight with the United States. Source: Reuters, July 29, 2019.
- Huawei will spend more on production equipment this year to ensure supply continuity, cut redundant roles and demote inefficient managers as its grapples with a “live-or-die moment” in the wake of U.S. export curbs, founder Ren Zhengfei said. Source: Reuters, August 20, 2019
InterDigital Wireless: The company on May 20, 2019, said it can license its 5G network technology to Huawei despite the threat of a U.S. ban on selling chips and software to the Chinese telecommunications firm, and patent attorneys said Qualcomm likely also can do so. Source: Reuters, May 20, 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.
Japan: Japan’s government effectively banned China’s Huawei and ZTE from official contracts. Source: Japan Times, December 10, 2018.
Microsoft: Multiple updates include:
- The software giant has remove Huawei from one of its websites offering cloud gear, but the software giant still won’t comment on whether it is rescinding Huawei’s license to use Windows. Source: Bloomberg, May 23, 2019.
- The Microsoft Store has stopped selling Huawei laptops. Source: Windows Report, May 27, 2019.
The Netherlands: The Dutch government established a special task force to weigh potential security risks as it prepares to build a 5G telecommunications network. The announcement came after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his government was still exploring options for 5G and had not yet formed an opinion on the possible role of Chinese companies. A recommendation was expected by the end of May 2019. Source: Reuters, April 15, 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.
North Korea: Huawei secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network. Such a move would raise questions of whether Huawei, which has used U.S. technology in its components, violated American export controls to furnish North Korea with equipment. Source: Reuters, July 22, 2019.
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.
- Poland is unlikely to exclude all Huawei equipment from its next generation mobile networks, a government minister told Reuters, in part to avoid increased costs for mobile operators. Source: Reuters, April 16, 2019.
Softbank: The company’s Japanese telecom unit selected Nokia and Ericsson as vendors for it next-generation 5G wireless network, excluding long-time supplier Huawei from the project. Source: Bloomberg, May 29, 2019.
Sophos: The UK-based cybersecurity company allegedly halted all direct and partner sales to Huawei. Source: Computer Business Review, June 5, 2019.
South Korea: More than a hundred South Korean politicians and business leaders toured Huawei’s headquarters and its lavish new campus outside Shenzhen. The campaign against Huawei, and the broader U.S.-China trade war, have landed export-driven South Korea in a familiar bind, caught between its crucial security ally and biggest trading partner. Source: Reuters, May 28, 2019.
Multiple Technology Companies: Some of the world’s biggest tech companies have told their employees to stop talking about technology and technical standards with counterparts at Huawei in response to the recent U.S. blacklisting of the Chinese tech firm. Intel, Qualcomm, InterDigital Wireless and LG Uplus have restricted employees from informal conversations with Huawei. Source: Reuters, June 10, 2019.
Nokia Statements: Nokia has disowned comments made a day earlier to the BBC by their CTO Marcus Weldon—comments that related to the alleged security issues with equipment from rival Huawei. Nokia has been careful in its public statements about Huawei’s difficulties. Source: Forbes, June 28, 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 Arab Emirates (UAE): A telecom company called du has discussed U.S. restrictions on Huawei with the Chinese company, and believes the restrictions will not hamper its 5G network, its chief executive said. Source: Reuters, July 24, 2019.
Continue to page two of two for Huawei-related policy statements from the United Kingdom, the United States, and more.