US authorities need to give the green the green light for Peugeot to complete a $50 billion merger with Fiat Chrysler. However, it is interesting timing as Washington is urging its European allies to exclude Huawei from the continent’s 5G telecoms infrastructure.
Peugeot’s Chief Executive, Carlos Tavares, yesterday said the French car manufacturer would adjust its partnership with China’s Huawei if authorities in the US make it a precondition for approving a merger with Fiat Chrysler, according to source, Reuters.
US considers Huawei a national threat
At the Munich security conference last month, the US defence secretary, Mark Esper warned that US alliances, including the future of NATO, will be at risk if European countries use Huawei technology in their 5G networks. He also warned that future intelligence cooperation would be also be jeopardised because the US would no longer be certain its communications networks were secure.
Although France has resisted the Huawei ban the US has called for so far, the US continues to push its allies on the matter.
Peugeot willing to follow US lead
“We have a partnership with Huawei, which is linked with another partnership with French telecom company Orange, we are not in direct relationship with them. But of course on this matter, we will listen to the American authorities and of course we will follow all their instructions”, Tavares told a conference call on Tuesday. “If there was any question or any guidance from the American authorities, we would be eager to follow them,” he continued.
To date, France has ruled out discriminating against Huawei as a vendor its 5G networks and indeed only last week the Chinese Technology giant unveiled plans to build first European 5G factory in France.
The partnership between Peugeot and Huawei has been running since 2017 to develop a cloud-based connected vehicle system. This has to date been deployed on six million cars in Europe and China.
At a time when the US are constantly reiterating the perceived threat allowing Huawei into 5G networks brings and urging its allies to ban the Chinese government it’ll be interesting to see if the Peugeot / Fiat Chrysler merger carries a Huawei exclusion precondition.