By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU industry chief Thierry Breton on Friday welcomed U.S. comments on the bloc’s decision not to issue an outright ban on Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei [HWT.UL], while showing no signs of any change in the EU’s stance.
The EU this week issued guidelines that, while not naming any company, would in practice restrict Huawei’s equipment in 5G infrastructure and possibly exclude it from the core part of the network. EU countries were also advised not to depend on one provider.
On Tuesday Britain, which is about to exit the EU, granted Huawei a limited role in its 5G network.
The U.S. fears that the Chinese government may use Huawei gear for spying, allegations rejected by Huawei. The EU is seeking to maintain good relations with United States and China, both important trading partners.
The EU decision to defy U.S. pressure for an outright ban prompted U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to on Thursday reiterate a call to the bloc to exclude high-risk suppliers from all parts of 5G networks.
Breton responded in a tweet.
“I very much welcome US Secretary Mike @SecPompeo’s declaration on our European #toolbox for a secure #5G. As allies and partners, we have a like-minded approach to deploying securely this technology that will bring immense opportunities,” he said.
World No. 1 telecoms equipment maker Huawei competes with Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by John Stonestreet)