Press Releases

02/08/2019

China / 5G network: Decision regarding Huawei is a "bad compromise"

Huawei will not be excluded from the 5G licensing process (Press release)

From the viewpoint of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the German Federal Government's decision not to explicitly exclude the Chinese company Huawei from the 5G licensing process, but merely to step up the security regulations, is a "bad compromise". Photo: Open Grid Scheduler via Flickr CC BY 2.0.

From the viewpoint of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the German Federal Government's decision not to explicitly exclude the Chinese company Huawei from the 5G licensing process, but merely to step up the security regulations, is a "bad compromise". According to the human rights organization, the new no-spy agreement which all applicants would have to sign is to be seen as window dressing. "Anyone who believes that it is possible to effectively protect the data of 5G users has a misconception of China's approach to data protection," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's director, in Göttingen on Friday. No Chinese company would dare to break Chinese law by refusing to disclose sensitive data to China's state security.

In view of the serious human rights violations against the Uyghurs and Kazakhs – which are also made possible by extensive surveillance in their main settlement region in northern China – the STP has been warning against the use of Chinese technology in Germany for months. In China itself, it is an integral part of the repressive apparatus against minorities.

Further, the human rights advocate emphasized that data protection in Germany is about to become a victim of a globalized economy if, due to the strong interdependencies between the German economy and China's economy, there were a growing fear of sanctions. For example, there has been a significant increase in warnings by the German industry, expressing fears that German companies might face difficulties on the Chinese market if Huawei were to be excluded from the 5G licensing process.

"Apparently, the federal government is afraid of China's reaction in the case that Huawei is excluded. The main concern was to ensure that German citizens will not find themselves at the mercy of the Chinese rulers, like the Canadian people," Delius stated. For weeks, Canada has been trying to arrange for the release of three Canadian citizens who were arbitrarily arrested in China, as a retribution for the arrest of a leading Huawei manager in Canada.

According to the STP, cooperations with Chinese companies are problematic as long as there is no legal certainty or credible data protection policy in China. The boundaries between China's companies and the Communist Party are fluid, and big corporations can only be successful if they serve the party and the state. In China, data protection in the sense of the German law is unheard of.

Headerimage: Open Grid Scheduler via Flickr.