PRAGUE — In an try and push again in opposition to makes an attempt to restrict its attain in Europe, the Chinese know-how large Huawei threatened authorized motion in opposition to the Czech Republic if its cybersecurity company didn’t rescind its warning in regards to the threat the corporate poses to the nation’s important infrastructure.
As nations throughout Europe take the primary steps to reconfigure the programs that management the web, Huawei’s menace was the newest salvo within the escalating conflict over who will management the that can underpin the brand new 5G, or fifth-generation, networks.
For greater than a yr, the United States has been engaged in a worldwide marketing campaign geared toward limiting the attain of Chinese telecommunication companies, contending that they pose a menace to safety.
While American officers haven’t provided particular particulars to help their considerations, they’ve pointed to China’s National Intelligence Law, handed in 2017. They say the legislation requires Chinese corporations to help, present help to and cooperate in Beijing’s nationwide intelligence work, wherever they function.
That legislation was one of many components that led the Czech cybersecurity company, Nukib, to difficulty a proper warning in December in regards to the threat posed by Huawei and one other Chinese know-how agency, ZTE.
The warning, which carries the pressure of legislation, requires all corporations within the Czech Republic which can be deemed important to the nation’s well being to carry out a threat evaluation that takes safety considerations under consideration.
It has already led a number of massive corporations and authorities ministries to distance themselves from Huawei, together with barring the corporate from bidding on new initiatives.
“Huawei cannot represent a cybersecurity threat as stated in the warning,” the letter said. “Huawei, according to the Chinese law, does not have any obligation to install backdoor or spyware into their products, and the company would never agree to such a request.”
Radoslaw Kedzia, Huawei’s chief representative in the Czech Republic, wrote that the cyber agency had failed to provide any specific evidence of wrongdoing and failed to explain its analysis of the Chinese law.
“As consequence of the warning, Huawei has already suffered losses and faces many difficulties,” he wrote in the letter, dated Feb. 1. “For example, it was excluded from public procurement, even those that do not concern critical infrastructure.”
“Retail activities have been harmed and the brand damaged,” according to the letter. The company called on Czech officials to rescind the warning, adding that if they did not receive a reply by Feb. 14, they would take the matter to court.
Officials at the cybersecurity agency acknowledged receipt of the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, but declined to comment.
The pushback by Huawei was part of a broader campaign by the company to defend itself across the continent.
Huawei sent a letter to the British Parliament this week defending its track record and claiming that any malicious activity on its part would “destroy its business.”
The embattled company, which was founded by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army, claimed that the attacks against it were unfounded.
“The governments in some countries have labeled Huawei as a security threat, but they have never substantiated these allegations with solid evidence,” Ryan Ding, the president of Huawei’s carrier business, wrote in the letter to the British lawmakers.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand have already barred the company from participating in the building of the new 5G networks.
In the coming months, countries across Europe are expected to begin to put in place infrastructure that would allow for the superfast, widely connected networks.
Which companies will lead that effort remains an open question. But as Huawei’s threat of legal action demonstrates, the Chinese firm has no intention of ceding the lucrative market.
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