Germany to ban Chinese companies from core parts of 5G networks

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany will ban the use of components from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in key parts of the country’s 5G networks in two steps, starting in 2026, the country’s top security official said Thursday.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has long wondered what to do with components made by Chinese suppliers in its new-generation mobile phone networks.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said components from Huawei and ZTE will be banned from 5G core networks by the end of 2026, while “critical management systems” from the two manufacturers in 5G access and transport networks will have to be replaced by the end of 2029.

The decision follows negotiations with Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica, which operate Germany’s 5G networks. Agreements will be signed with all three companies, the Interior Ministry said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholzthe government last year a strategy has been drawn up for relations with China, citing a “systemic rivalry” with the Asian power and a need to reduce the risks of economic dependence, but emphasises Berlin’s desire to work with Beijing on challenges such as climate change and to maintain trade ties. The strategy drew criticism from Beijing.

Scholz visited China in April during his second trip to the country since taking office in late 2021.

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