THE US GOVERNMENT is pressuring foreign allies to ditch networking equipment from Chinese firm Huawei, the Wall Street Journal reports.
As part of an "extraordinary outreach campaign", US officials have reportedly reached out to their government counterparts and telecom executives in European and Asian countries where Huawei equipment is already in use, warning them about the "national security risks" posed by the Chinese firm.
As well as scaremongering about cybersecurity risks, the WSJ's unnamed sources claim Washington has been considering increasing financial aid for telecommunications development in countries that shun Chinese-made equipment.
It's also mulling subsidizing the purchase and maintenance of non-Chinese equipment by its allies, the report adds, noting that one of the government's main concerns surrounds the use of Chinese telecom equipment in countries that host US military bases, such as Italy, Japan and Germany; the latter of which has already been considering a ban on 5G equipment from Huawei.
The US government has long sounded the alarm bells over Chinese firm Huawei. Officials have pressured AT&T and Verizon back out of deals to flog the company's smartphones, advised citizens to avoid Huawei smartphones and, most recently, banned the use of Huawei and ZTE devices by government staff and IT contractors.
"Huawei is aware of a range of US government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the US market," the Chinese firm said earlier this year.
"Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities."
Efforts to talk its allies out of using Huawei have been ramped up in light of incoming 5G wireless networks, the WSJ reports, as Washington fears that super-fast connections will make it easier for China to spy and even incapacitate devices such as components of manufacturing plants. µ
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