Germany considers blocking Chinese components in 5G networks

Germany is considering a ban on parts made by Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE in its 5G networks from 2026, government sources told AFP on Wednesday.

According to government proposals, Chinese components would be excluded from the country’s “core network” from January 1, 2026, the sources said.

It is understood that the ban will apply not only to new parts but also those that have already been installed.

The government also wants to begin phasing out parts made by Huawei and ZTE in Germany’s “access and transport network,” the sources said.

The changes to Germany’s 5G mobile networks run by Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica are “of high importance for the German government in terms of security policy,” according to a draft interior ministry document seen by AFP.

Germany has “significant structural dependencies” on Huawei and ZTE, the document says, leading to “an urgent need for action.”

The plan marks part of Germany’s strategy of “de-risking” its relationship with China, announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in July, according to the draft document.

Germany in July presented a 64-page document outlining its new strategy towards a more “assertive” China, its top trade partner.

Seeking a balance between competing interests of the EU’s biggest economy, the document sought to refresh Germany’s stance toward China as a “partner, competitor and systemic rival.”

“We want to reduce critical dependencies in future,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on presenting the strategy, saying Berlin had “reacted to a China that has changed and become more assertive.”

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