Chinese Tech Giant Huawei Fails To Obtain Security Clearance From Czech National Security Agency

The telecommunications firm withdrew its application and is now deciding what to do next. Huawei’s moves into domestic markets have been controversial in many countries due to concerns over cybersecurity and the company’s links to the Chinese government. Photo: Huawei IFA Berlin, 2018. Credit: Matti Blume is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.

Czech Rep., Sep 17 (BD) – Chinese telecom giant Huawei has failed to obtain secret security clearance from the Czech National Security Agency (NBU). According to Deník N, the company withdrew the application itself. 

Security screening is a condition for private companies to participate in selected state tenders in the Czech Republic. According to Deník N, Huawei had requested secret clearance, but the company withdrew the application as the process was developing unfavourably, and is now considering applying for a lower level of security clearance. However, Huawei does not currently need security clearance to cooperate with Czech operators in building 5G mobile networks in the Czech Republic. The Chinese company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of this technology.

“Huawei is now considering various scenarios that are based on our business needs,” said company spokesman Tomáš Kolder. The NBU did not comment on the matter.

The company’s operation in domestic markets is controversial, and the subject of a diplomatic tussle between China and the United States. The US government accuses Huawei of acting as a trojan horse for Chinese surveillance; the company is subject to various restrictions on its operation in the United States, and in June 2020 the Federal Communications Commission labelled Huawei a “national security threat”. 

The US has also attempted to pressure other nations to block Huawei from involvement in the development of its 5G networks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Europe earlier this summer included discussions with officials from several European countries about Huawei.

Various nations in Europe have restricted Huawei’s operations, or chosen European business partners over Huawei citing security reasons. In 2018, the Czech National Office for Cyber ​​and Information Security (NÚKIB) warned against the use of software and hardware from Huawei.

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