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Contracts involving Huawei’s tech will not be allowed inside the European Union. The ban is part of the EC’s strategic measures to enact “restrictions on high-risk suppliers”.

This week the EU Member States, with the support of the European Commission and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), issued a decision to block Chinese 5G vendors like Huawei from receiving EU funding. In addition, they will refuse to accept any contract with any providers using their equipment.

The decision was part of the bloc’s latest progress report on the implementation of the EU Toolbox on 5G cybersecurity. The Commission called on Member States to complete the implementation of the main toolbox measures by June 2021. One of the key measures of the policy directed states to “assess the risk profile of suppliers; apply relevant restrictions for suppliers considered as high risk, including necessary exclusions for key assets.”

The EC calls out Chinese tech by name

This week, the Commission issued a strong statement accompanying its 5G Toolbox progress report. In it, the EC said it “considers that Huawei and ZTE represent in fact materially higher risks than other 5G suppliers”. The Commission called out the two Chinese companies by name, which it had previously avoided in official documents.

Plan is to “phase out” Chinese 5G vendors

The European Commission is setting an example for Member states by adopting two measures against the Chinese 5G suppliers. Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager summed up the two actions thusly: “The Commission will restrict these suppliers from our own connectivity services and EU funding instruments,” she said.

Accordingly, the EC will take “relevant security measures so as not to procure new connectivity services that rely on equipment from those suppliers, and will work with Member states and telecom operators to make sure that those suppliers are progressively phased out from existing connectivity services of the Commission sites”, according to the statements.

Secondly, the Commission intends to apply this blocking order broadly and comprehensively across the European Union through all the various EU funding mechanisms. This move will greatly affect Member states like Germany, where operators like Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone who rely heavily on equipment from Chinese giant Huawei will be shut out of European government contracts.