Germany goes soft on China, dragging out Huawei ban until 2029 – POLITICO

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Huawei components would have to be removed from radio access networks such as antenna masts by the end of 2029 instead of the end of 2026. This is a satisfactory outcome for German operators, who were planning to replace them by then anyway, limiting extra costs.

Greens lawmaker Tobias Bacherle deplored the “unnecessary room for maneuver” and slammed the concessions as “irresponsible.” Talks have been ongoing since 2019, “so it shouldn’t really take another five years,” he said.

Nonetheless, the agreement will ease worries in Brussels and Washington, where Germany has been seen as dragging its feet on cutting ties with Huawei, despite Berlin’s endorsement of the EU-level 5G Security Toolbox that set out measures to reduce dependencies across networks in 2020.

Huawei components would have to be removed from radio access networks. | Stringer/Getty Images

German operators have relied heavily on Huawei to roll out 4G and 5G network infrastructure. A 2022 study by consultancy firm Strand Consult estimated that Chinese components accounted for 59 percent of Germany’s 5G setup.

The review of the Huawei ban will be “completed shortly,” a German interior ministry spokesperson said, adding that they have “reached a decision on how to proceed.”

Huawei didn’t respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

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