To block the road to Huawei, the US administration is actively working. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Hungary, a country where the Chinese giant has invested heavily. And the ex director of the CIA did not go dead on the subject of 5G. Choosing Huawei for its future telecom infrastructure could limit the possibility of providing US equipment, he explained – a near-ultimatum launched to European countries who are still hesitant about the position to adopt.
Mike Pompeo must continue his tour of the Old Continent in Slovakia and Poland. But he is not the only one to climb to the front, far from it. " We have asked all our diplomats around the world to engage on this issue ", Says a spokesman for the State Department. " Priority has been given to our closest friends and allies. And we also got closer to the industrial players ".
US officials will also go on a large delegation to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month. They want to take advantage of the annual high mass of the sector to hammer their argument again.
This one has not changed. Apart from issues of intellectual property theft and trade with Iran that have led Huawei's chief financial officer to be arrested in Canada pending possible extradition to the United States, Huawei is suspected of being the of Beijing Trojan in communication networks.
There is no evidence to support this blacklisting. Just the United States can they point to the annual report produced in the UK since 2010 by the Huawei Cybersecurity Evaluation Center. Last summer, the latest edition of this assessment for the UK authorities highlighted some minor safety issues in Chinese equipment. She concluded that she could not " provide only limited assurance that all UK national security risks related to Huawei's involvement in critical networks were moderate ".
But, to hear the American authorities, the essential is not there. The problem is that, faced with a possible spying order from Beijing, Huawei should obey. The group belies with force. Last month, Huawei's boss and founder, Ren Zhengfei, was unusually out of his usual reserve, precisely to deny the existence of such a drive belt. But Washington does not stop.
Chinese laws in the viewfinder
" When the Communist Party asks something from a Chinese company, it obeys ", Says a spokesman for the State Department. " China has been a communist country since 1949, but authoritarianism has grown stronger over the last six years. This is reflected in the recent laws on national security, cybersecurity, counter-terrorism … It is very clear that companies must collaborate, without the need for a court decision. ".
After the revelations of Edward Snowden, who proved the extent of American espionage on his own allies, the warning can make you smile. But the United States argues that there are counter-powers in the West – independent tribunals, opposition parties, free press … – that do not exist in China. In the State Department, it adds that " the United States, like France or the United Kingdom, does not do this kind of thing to suppress political dissent, intimidate people, and let its own companies profit from commercial espionage. China, if "