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Huawei To Set Up 5G Equipment Making Factory In France

Huawei To Set Up 5G Equipment Making Factory In France
With the aim of addressing worldwide concerns about accusations against it by the United States that its telecommunication equipment are used by Chinese authorities for spying on western countries, telecom equipment making giant Huawei is set to open its first European manufacturing unit in France, the company’s chairman said.
The company, the largest telecom equipment manufacturer of the world, plans to make an investment of €200 million or $217 million in the first phase of construction of a mobile base station plant in France, said Liang Hua, Huawei’s chairman.
Having repeatedly denied the US charges against it, Huawei apparently has been caught in the cross fire of the trade war between the US and China as Washington has been urging all its allies to completely ban the Chinese firm in the construction of 5G mobile networks. However a number of European countries have not wilted under US pressure about Huawei and allowed partial participation of the company in 5G network constructions in their respective countries. The EU has also stopped short of imposing a complete ban on the company.
“This site will supply the entire European market, not just France’s,” Liang told a news conference referring to the company’s plan of the new plant in France. “Our group’s activities are worldwide and for this we need a global industrial footprint.”
It is anticipated that the speed and capacity of communications will be significantly increased with the implementation of 5G networks while also exponentially increasing the connectivity via internet of billions of connected devices – ranging from fridges to driverless cars, which are expected to best run and implement their connected features on 5G networks.
Reports on the new plant in France did not make it clear whether this new venture of the company has been supported by the French President Emmanuel Macron who has courted foreign investors but at the same time has also issued some warnings for Chinese encroachments in the EU economy.
The group’s plans have been outlined to the French government, Liang.
“This is not a charm offensive,” he said.
There have so far been no comments available from the French government.
While the latest 5G network is to be rolled out by companies in France, the country’s largest mobile operator – the state-controlled Orange, has already said that it will use telecom equipment from the European rivals of Huawei - Nokia and Ericsson.
However, pressure on the French government to clear its position on Huawei is being made by smaller operators in France including Bouygues Telecom and Altice Europe’s SFR because their existing mobile networks makes heavy use of equipment from Huawei. 
While saying that no discrimination against any vendor will be done by it, the French government has also said that all vendors participating in 5G network constructions in the country also need to get approved by the country’s cybersecurity agency – which is currently examining the equipment of Huawei. However reports quoting sources from the French telecoms industry have dais that even though no formal will be announced by the French authorities, it is most likely that Huawei will be barred in actual practice when constructing 5G networks.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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