Briefing: Seeking to reassure, Huawei opens cybersecurity center in Brussels

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What happened: Huawei opened a new lab in Brussels on Tuesday where government, industry, and standards institutions will collaborate on cybersecurity research. Internet and wireless client companies will be able to test the Chinese tech giant’s network equipment on the lab grounds. To facilitate this bid at transparency, Huawei will make available its source code, Huawei global cybersecurity and privacy officer John Suffolk told AP News. The lab has been interpreted as an attempt to convince European governments that the company’s 5G equipment is safe to use due to its proximity to the EU Commission, which has criticized Huawei in the past. The Commission was cautious in its response, emphasizing “reciprocity in terms of market openness” and that the EU is “rules-based.”

Why it’s important: The US has been trying to undermine Huawei’s bid to build 5G infrastructure around the world, claiming that the firm’s ties to the Chinese government pose a security threat to the nations that take up its offer. Huawei continues to eye other markets despite the Trump administration’s staunch campaign and a ban on US federal agencies using Huawei products, for which the Chinese company is allegedly planning to sue the White House. The EU is a key battleground; it is Huawei’s biggest market outside China, and has prioritized 5G development as part of its Digital Single Market initiative.