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Huawei confident it will supply core network technology to European operators

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei is confident some European telecoms firms will choose it to provide 5G technology for their core networks, the firm’s chief representative to the EU, Abraham Liu, told Reuters on Friday.

Shenzhen-based Huawei is at the centre of a spat between China and the U.S. with the latter saying the company’s 5G technology could be used as a backdoor spy channel for Beijing.

Huawei has denied the claims and countered the charges by saying the U.S. itself has a long track record of modifying digital products to collect intelligence.

Speaking to reporters in Copenhagen, Liu said he was confident European operators would pick Huawei as a provider of technology for their so-called core networks where sensitive data is processed.

“It’s important to let them (operators) have the freedom of choice, and they are going to judge which supplier can bring them the best business value,” Liu told Reuters.

The European Union in January unveiled new 5G guidelines for member states, in which it allowed individual countries to decide what part Huawei could play in their networks.

Britain recently granted Huawei a limited role in its 5G mobile network by ruling it would be allowed into the non-sensitive parts of the network.

Liu said that after Huawei installs its 5G network technology, operators have “100% control” over any information flows in the network and that any access to the network is recorded.

“We build the whole highway and then the operators of the highway, they will handle the tollgate and how many cars are running on the highway,” he said.

“We give the key…They have the full control of that.”

Germany and France have yet to take an official stance on whether to limit or ban individual 5G technology suppliers from their mobile networks.

The cyber security agency in France, where Huawei has announced plans to build a manufacturing plant, is currently screening 5G equipment, including Huawei’s.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by David Evans, Editing by Kirsten Donovan)