The Czech cyber watchdog warned network operators on Monday against using software or hardware made by Chinese telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE, saying they pose a security threat.
“We are making this announcement based on our investigation and an information provided by our partners in the security area, as well as the results received by our allies,” said Dusan Navratil, director of the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NUKIB)
Huawei is the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment but faces intense scrutiny in the West over ties to the Chinese government and concerns its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.
“China’s laws, among other things, require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat,” Navrátil added.
Huawei is the largest telecom infrastructure supplier in the Czech Republic for local mobile operators. The company’s revenue in the country amounted to 6.55 billion Czech crowns (about $300 million) in 2017. Until 2022, Huawei plans to invest about $360 million in the Czech Republic and create a total of more than 4,000 new jobs.
The United States and several other countries have also raised security questions with regard to the Chinese telecommunications giant.