US warns Germany it will cut intelligence sharing if it does not block Huawei

James Warrington
Follow James
The warning came in a letter from the US ambassador to Germany (Source: Getty)

The US has told Germany it will cut back intelligence sharing with its spy agencies if the country does not ban the use of Huawei’s equipment in its 5G network.

The warning came in a letter from the US ambassador to Germany dated Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Read more: China backs Huawei's bid to sue United States

US ambassador Richard Grenell said Chinese companies can be forced to share information with security agencies by law and that inspections of Huawei’s technology were not enough to ensure there were no vulnerabilities, according to the report.

Grenell warned Germany’s economy minister that the US could not maintain the same level of cooperation with German security agencies if Huawei were allowed to participate in the country’s 5G network.

German economy minister Peter Altmaier last week told local media Germany does not want to ban the company, but will update laws to ensure its 5G network is secure.

The letter marks a step up in the US’s campaign to discourage its allies from using Huawei’s equipment. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has previously warned European countries that allowing the Chinese firm to be involved in their 5G networks would complicate relations.

Read more: Huawei sues US government after equipment ban

Tensions have been mounting in recent months between Huawei and Western governments amid fears the company’s technology could be used for spying.

But the National Cyber Security Centre, which monitors the Huawei’s equipment, has said it is confident the UK can manage risks associated with the Chinese tech firm.