European nations, France included, have been pressed by the United States to ban Huawei from building their 5G networks. Washington has claimed Beijing uses the firm’s equipment for spying. China has repeatedly denied the accusations.
French authorities will be unable to renew licences for Huawei’s equipment after their expiry, which will pave the way for the Chinese tech giant to be phased out of French 5G networks by 2028, Reuters reported citing three sources familiar with the matter.
According to the report, the government notified firms planning to acquire Huawei 5G gear about the non-renewable licences. The sources said that the majority of licences for Huawei spanned from three to five years, while its European competitors, namely Nokia and Ericsson, were granted eight-year authorisations.
France’s cybersecurity agency ANSSI previously said it would authorise operators to use 5G equipment for three to eight years. However, the agency called on tech firms not currently using Huawei’s gear to avoid acquiring it.
Huawei’s Future in Europe
The reports come amid the uncertainty over Huawei’s 5G rollout in Europe, which stems from reports of security risks that the Chinese tech firm’s equipment allegedly poses. According to a report by the Financial Times in January, the EU is looking to limit Huawei’s access to 5G networks across the bloc due to security concerns.
The United States has repeatedly accused Huawei of its alleged ties to the Chinese government and proceeded to slap sanctions on the firm.
Most recently, the UK made a U-turn on Huawei, moving to restrict its access to 5G networks due to national security concerns and political pressure from the United States.
Both China and Huawei vehemently denied the accusations, calling them unjustified, politically motivated and violating competitive practices.