Briefing: US warns Eastern European countries of Huawei’s growing influence

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Pompeo sounds alarm on Huawei’s Eastern Europe stronghold – Nikkei Asian Review

What happened: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Hungary’s government on Monday of the security risks associated with equipment supplied by Huawei Technologies, hinting that it could complicate the European country’s partnerships with the US. “If that equipment is co-located in places where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them,” Pompeo said at the US Embassy in Budapest. The US wants to make sure to identify to local officials the opportunities and risks associated with Huawei equipment, he added. Pompeo is on his visit to central and eastern Europe and is expected to carry the same message to other countries including Slovakia and Poland.

Why it’s important: Europe has become a main battleground as the US continues to rally against China’s growing technological influence. In Eastern Europe, countries are still on the fence about blocking Chinese telecom equipment providers fearing possible retaliation from China. Huawei, one of the companies at the center of US-China tech war, has been accused of working with the Chinese government to snoop on other countries. The company has denied that its equipment is vulnerable to Beijing’s interference.