Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.
The European Union on Wednesday recommended its member states limit the involvement of “high-risk” 5G vendors like Huawei in their telecommunications infrastructure, but it did not suggest banning the Chinese company outright. The EU’s new guidelines come a day after the United Kingdom announced it would not ban Huawei from its 5G network, a serious blow to the U.S. pressure campaign against China’s telecom giant.
In a package of recommendations it refers to as its “5G toolbox,” the European Commission’s experts suggested that national regulators “assess the risk profile of suppliers” while putting in place some restrictions to safeguard key parts of their networks that could be vulnerable to hacking or espionage. The bloc’s 28 member countries will individually decide the extent to which Huawei will be allowed to play a role in their next-generation 5G infrastructure. The Trump administration, contending that Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese government make it an espionage threat, has lobbied European countries to shut out the company.