US allies are being offered more aid in return for shunning Huawei tech

23 Nov 2018

Huawei logo on a building in Vilnius, Lithuania. Image: _fla/Depositphotos

The US government is allegedly desperate to keep its allies from making deals with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei over cybersecurity fears.

The US government is implementing what, on the face of it, appears to be the Marshall Plan of the 21st century. Following the end of World War II, under the plan, the US gave billions of dollars to war-torn European countries in financial aid in order to prevent them from falling under Communist rule.

Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, US officials have contacted representatives in nations including Germany, Italy and Japan to warn them of potential cybersecurity risks if they partner with Huawei. Some of those familiar with the conversations added that the US would be willing to boost aid for advanced telecoms equipment if a nation did decide to shun the Chinese company.

Huawei and ZTE have been targeted by US lawmakers regarding alleged connections between their technology and attempts to gain access to sensitive national security information, allegations which both companies vehemently deny.

Huawei has grown significantly in stature in just a few short years, now being the second largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, in addition to quickly becoming one of the biggest telecoms equipment manufacturers on the planet.

Given the current US administration’s fears over Chinese influence and reach into its systems, accusations against the company have been steady over the past year, even when it considered a plan to build a state-funded fifth-generation (5G) network in the US.

In a statement, Huawei said it was “surprised by the behaviours of the US government”. It added: “If a government’s behaviour extends beyond its jurisdiction, such activity should not be encouraged.”

So far, the US’s actions appear to be working among its biggest allies, with Australia outright banning the use of Huawei technology for its 5G wireless equipment, and the UK government openly critical of the security of Huawei products.

Huawei logo on a building in Vilnius, Lithuania. Image: _fla/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic