KEY POINTS

  • German lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party have written a position paper which calls for tougher regulations on foreign 5G vendors, but stops short of a ban on Huawei
  • The Trump administration has pushed for countries to reject Huawei, fearing the company spys on U.S. assets abroad and hands over confidential information to the Chinese government
  • Germany's ambassador to the United States has said Berlin's official decision on the Huawei 5G issue is "imminent."

Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party have drafted a position paper that recommends tougher regulations on foreign providers of 5G equipment in Germany, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. At the same time, the document does not call for a ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei from participating in the country’s 5G rollout. 

“State actors with sufficient resources can infiltrate the network of any equipment maker,” the document reportedly says. “Even with comprehensive technical checks, security risks cannot be eliminated completely -- they can at best be minimized."

Germany has been deliberating whether it would allow Huawei onto its 5G networks. Merkel said last year she is not in favor of a ban, but members of her party have raised security  concerns about Huawei’s involvement.

“Equipment makers can only be trusted if they verifiably fulfill a clearly defined security catalogue that rules out any influence from a foreign state on our 5G infrastructure,” the document continues, calling for Germany to strengthen its information security laws.

The U.S. has pushed for countries to bar Huawei from their 5G networks. Washington says Huawei could use 5G to steal confidential U.S. information and hand it over to the Chinese government.

If Germany enacts a ban on Huawei, it could delay the country’s 5G rollout by several years. 

The U.K. recently announced it would allow Huawei to participate in its 5G networks, a decision that angered the Trump administration. German Ambassador to the U.S.Emily Haber told Voice of America on Monday that Berlin’s decision on Huawei is “imminent.”

Huawei said in June it had 50 commercial 5G contracts outside China, including for networks in South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Finland. At the time it had shipped 150,000 base stations.

Huawei has offered no-backdoor agreements to allay fears of Chinese intrusion.