US charges: Huawei rightly accused?

The US Justice Department has filed charges against the Chinese technology company Huawei, accusing it of violating sanctions against Iran, money laundering and industrial espionage. In addition it has demanded the extradition of the company's chief financial officer, who is currently in detention in Canada. Commentators explain why the case also has repercussions for Europe.

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Naivety out of the question

Deutschlandfunk explains why the Huawei case is so worrying:

“Because the company is one of the world's leading network providers and has the potential to become an unpredictable security risk for the West. The Chinese government has repeatedly proven that it acts without inhibitions in cyberspace. The data of more than 22 million [sic] American government employees was stolen by Chinese hackers in 2014 - including a great deal of highly sensitive information about intelligence agency workers and the Pentagon. The government in Beijing can always control Chinese businesses when it wants to. So naivety is out of the question here.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Stay out of Trump's trade war

Despite all its misgivings the EU should think twice about taking measures against Huawei, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“China is an authoritarian state that is systematically seeking to gain influence in the world through economic means, and which has no qualms about spying on its own population. But the Netherlands and the EU must not let themselves be used by President Donald Trump as pawns in an ill-considered trade war. So far it has not been proven that Huawei is guilty of espionage. That too is an argument against taking official action against the Chinese company at this stage. But caution is advisable.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Better to get your own economy up to scratch

Instead of bullying Chinese companies the West should concentrate on enhancing its own competitiveness, Die Presse advises:

“The example of train technology companies Siemens and Alstom demonstrates how not to do things. The companies are seeking a merger to be able to compete on equal terms with Chinese giant CRRC. But everything points to the EU Commission rejecting this plan, the main reason being the potential dominance of the company resulting from the merger on the European market. Despite how important it is to have effective competition watchdogs, this narrow-minded view of the situation seems outdated. The key competition is at the global level. Ignoring that could be dangerous for Europe in the long term.”