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U.S. Warns European Allies Not to Use Chinese Gear for 5 G Networks

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The United States sees the European Union as its top priority in a global effort to convince allies not to buy Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks, a U.S. State Department Official said on Tuesday.

After meetings with the European Commission and the Belgian government in Brussels, U.S. officials are set to take a message to other European capitals that the world’s biggest telecommunications gear maker poses a security risk, said the official, who declined to be named.

“We are saying you need to be very, very cautious and we are urging folks not to rush ahead and sign contracts with untrusted suppliers from countries like China,” the official said.

The United States fears China could use the equipment for espionage – a concern that Huawei Technologies Co. says is unfounded. The push to sideline Huawei in Europe, one of its biggest markets, is likely to deepen trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.

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