The Romanian government on Thursday approved a bill that aims to de facto exclude the Chinese group Huawei from the future 5G mobile network by “National security”, thus following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom and Sweden.
“In the event of risks, threats or vulnerabilities to national security”, the equipment manufacturers concerned will be refused authorization to operate in Romania, specifies this project, which does not mention a company by name and still has to obtain the approval of Parliament. In order to be able to supply technologies and equipment for the 5G network, companies will have to seek the advice of the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT), chaired by the head of state Klaus Iohannis.
The adoption of this text follows a joint declaration signed in August 2019 by Bucharest and Washington, which suspects Huawei of potential spying for the benefit of Beijing, accusations systematically rejected by the Chinese company. Former President Donald Trump pressured Western allies to stop using Huawei equipment. And the US telecoms regulator (FCC) in March showered hopes of easing relations with the coming to power of Joe Biden, classifying Huawei among Chinese companies considered a threat to national security.
Fear of losing jobs
Huawei’s director in Romania, George Zhang, called last year on Bucharest to reconsider this project, estimating that it would lead to the departure of the group and therefore to losses of 9.2 billion euros and “Thousands” jobs for this eastern European country. After several postponements, Bucharest plans to launch in the third quarter of 2021 a call for tenders for the establishment of the fifth generation of mobile networks, which could bring 600 million euros into the coffers of the State.
A major upheaval in the telecoms industry, this technology offers a much higher speed than 4G, with faster access to content and the possibility of circulating billions of data without congestion.