Bruno Kahl told legislators that Huawei should not be allowed to play a significant role in the roll out of 5G. He warned that the Chinese group couldn’t be trusted in the context of 5G security.
Bruno Kahl spoke to the German parliamentary committee and stated that, “infrastructure is not a suitable area for a group that cannot be trusted fully.”
He did add that Huawei could play some small role in the build out of 5G, but argued that it should be kept away from areas that touched on German “core interests”.
This intervention came to light after a heated debate between policymakers in Berlin and other European officials about the role of Huawei. The security officials voiced concerns about involving Huawei in the 5G buildout as it could reveal important telecommunications information to the Chinese company.
Making a decision
Germany was initially open to the idea of giving Huawei a level playing field to compete for involvement in 5G. However, this intervention could have changed the minds of policy makers.
Thorsten Benner, the director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, said, “It was always clear that German intelligence was very sceptical about Huawei, but the fact that he [Kahl] went on the record and said explicitly that Huawei cannot be trusted is very relevant.
“It adds weight to the argument that Merkel’s decision to allow Huawei to take part goes against German security interests.”
This ‘level playing field’ approach has certainly divided opinion amongst German officials.