U.S. warns Germany against using Huawei tech

U.S. warns Germany against using Huawei tech

The warning is contained in a letter sent by the USA ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, to Germany's economics minister Peter Altmaier, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal said it has seen a memorandum from Donald Trump ambassador Dick Grenell to the German government threatening that it won't tell it about terrorist threats if it continues to deploy Huawei 5G infrastructure.

The Wall Street Journal noted Grenell's letter is the first time the USA government has expressly threatened repercussions for American allies that purchase Huawei equipment.

Germany, like other European Union countries, has relied heavily on United States intelligence on terror and other threats provided by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and other spy services.

Germany's potential use of Huawei in its 5G rollout is a sticking point for the US.

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The U.S. has been openly skeptical of Huawei's independence since at least 2012, when the House Intelligence Committee issued a report criticizing the tech company over its ties to China's communist government (and possibly the military) and a lack of transparency. As CNBC reports, both the 2017 National Intelligence Law and the 2014 Counter-Espionage Law mandate that Chinese firms comply with state security efforts.

Altmaier told a television talk show on Thursday that Germany did not want to ban Huawei but would change its laws to ensure all components used in the 5G networks are secure.

The US is trying to recruit Germany in its campaign against Huawei.

A spokesman for Altmaier said a letter had been received from the embassy, and the ministry would respond in a timely manner.

Tensions have also run high over the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is facing possible extradition to the US on allegations she committed financial fraud in the course of allegedly violating worldwide sanctions on Iran.

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