FILE PHOTO: The logo of Huawei Technologies is pictured in front of the German headquarters of the Chinese telecommunications giant in Duesseldorf, Germany, February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
BARCELONA (Reuters) – European governments are listening to the U.S. message that China’s Huawei exposes telecoms networks to security risks, a senior U.S. cyber official said on Tuesday.
“People are understanding our point that we are making about the security risks that are inherent in this technology coming from China,” said Robert L. Strayer, U.S. State Department ambassador for cyber and international communications.
Strayer is part of a U.S. delegation in Barcelona seeking to persuade governments and telecoms operators at Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest wireless fair, to follow the U.S. lead in shunning Huawei equipment.
The United States warns that next-generation 5G equipment, which is more vulnerable to attack than previous technology, could be exploited by the Chinese government for spying if supplied by Huawei.
“We know that Huawei itself has been duplicitous and deceitful,” Strayer told reporters in Barcelona.
Huawei has grown fast to become the world’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment and is embedded in the mobile networks and 5G plans of many European operators. It denies that its technology represents a security risk.
In the United States, by contrast, 5G networks will largely be built by Nordic equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia.
Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Isla Binnie; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Keith Weir