Prague, Sept 5 (CTK) – The Czech Interior Ministry has rejected cooperation with the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei because the intelligence service UZSI concluded that such cooperation would involve a high risk of espionage, weekly Respekt writes in its issue out on Monday.
Shortly before the June trip of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to China, the Interior Ministry received a draft memorandum of understanding that was to open the doors to Huawei in the sphere of Czech interior security. Within a pilot project, Huawei would deliver its electronics to the ministry and the technology would be tested in one of the Czech regions. If the technology passed the test, it would be used in the whole country, Respekt writes.
The weekly writes it does not know what kind of technology was concerned as neither the Government Office nor the Interior Ministry commented on the issue.
The ministry asked the UZSI intelligence to check the possible cooperation and said “No” to it after UZSI said the cooperation posed a security risk.
In the past, the United States did not let Huawei on its market. The U.S. Congress said the company was too close to the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese army, Respekt writes.
Two years ago, the Czech counter-intelligence BIS warned against Huawei. “The increasing share of Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE on the Czech telecommunications market may pose a potential risk. Both companies have been suspected of cooperation with the Chinese intelligence services and an involvement in espionage activities abroad for a long time,” Respekt writes, citing the BIS report.
The fresh BIS annual report does not mention Huawei, but it warns against Chinese spies more than in the previous years, Respekt writes.
Huawei and ZTE have become international players in the last several years.
This alarmed not only traditional producers from the West, but also organisations and offices responsible for the key infrastructure such as the telephone network. They fear that Chinese spies might use the network technology and software of these firms to wiretap sensitive communication or that they might implant technology in this network that would make China capable of blocking the network in case of a possible conflict, Respekt writes.
The rejected cooperation with Huawei is yet another blow to the expansion of Chinese business in the Czech Republic, the weekly writes.
The China Energy Company Limited (CEFC) recently announced that it suspended the planned purchase of the 50 percent share in the Czech-Slovak J&T bank and the Czech central bank refused to confirm the granting of advantages to the Chinese financial group ICBC proposed by the Czech government, Respekt writes.