German authorities are now trying to find out whether Huawei is required by law to share its information with China. And if this is the case, the company won’t be allowed to be involved with Germany’s 5G roll out.
“[Huawei is] a company, which through Chinese legal requirements, is dependent on the state, and must pass on information to the state,” said Heiko Maas, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs. “A company may be required by law in its home country to provide information and data that it intends to protect to its home country. That's the case with Huawei."
Is Huawei trustworthy?
Germany is now required to test the trustworthiness of Huawei, and is adding the factor into the 5G 'security catalogue' (this is an overall test to judge whether a company is allowed to be involved in Germany’s 5G build-out).
The trustworthiness section will examine whether a company is forced by law, in its home country, to pass on information and data. Maas believes this to be the case with Huawei. This could potentially knock the company out of Germany’s 5G infrastructure, and will only add further doubt to the minds of other countries still on the fence about Huawei.
Level playing field
However ,Germany is still sticking to the level-playing field approach to 5G with the 'security catalogue' - although adding sections on trustworthiness is likely to outlaw companies such as Huawei.
And in a similar scenario to the UK, German mobile operators are also keep a close eye on proceeding, as they are all Huawei customers, and have already warned German officials that any ban could add years to the rollout of 5G in the country.