JAPAN COULD BE the next country to effectively ban Huawei and ZTE from 5G networks on security grounds.
It comes just one week after the Australian government introduced such a ban – without naming the two companies. It cited security, with laws in China that could oblige Chinese companies to spy on customers at the behest of security services.
The Australian ban drew threats of retaliation from China’s Ministry of Commerce, amid even more threatening language in China’s state-controlled press.
The US, meanwhile, has already barred Huawei and ZTE hardware, including networking equipment and smartphones, from public-sector IT systems, and put pressure on major US telecoms companies not to deploy Huawei and ZTE hardware in their networks.
According to Japanese business newspaper Sankei Shimbun, the ban is under consideration at the highest levels of government. Like the Australian move, the Japanese ban wouldn’t name Huawei and ZTE but would establish strict security criteria that would effectively bar the two companies.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of mobile network infrastructure, ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, while ZTE has been overtaken by Samsung after it was hit with a US Department of Commerce embargo over claims it reneged on a deal struck in 2017 over busting sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
Huawei, meanwhile, claimed sales of $4.4 billion in Japan last year, up by one-third on the previous year. It also employs around 950 people in Japan.
5G is a big issue for the Japanese government, with the country’s mobile telecoms operators under pressure to roll-out the technology in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. µ
Source : Inquirer