Japan is about to exclude ZTE and Huawei from public procurement

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In a store in Huawei, Sanya, China, December 8th.
In a store in Huawei, Sanya, China, December 8th. GREG BAKER / AFP

Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE will soon be excluded from Japanese public procurement. According to the local press of Friday 7 December, citing government sources, the rules relating to these markets will be changed on Monday 10 December. To those that define the costs, the ministries and the government agencies will add a mention on the consideration of the safety aspects. Without going into details, said the government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga "The growing importance of ensuring IT security for administrations" and said he wanted to work on this point "Operating on different levers".

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya also raised the issue of cybersecurity, saying that his administration was not using Huawei or ZTE products for fear of their relationship with Chinese intelligence. Huawei is very present in the private sector in Japan: in 2011 it became the first Chinese company to join the powerful business confederation, Keidanren.

Read also The arrest of Huawei's leader causes tensions between Beijing and Washington

ZTE and Huawei did not react to the Japanese announcement. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Friday expressed his "Serious concern". Referring to the essence of Sino-Japanese economic cooperation, which is proposed to be "Mutually beneficial" is "Win-win", recalled that the two companies have been legally present in the Archipelago for a long time. "We hope that the Japanese side will create a favorable environment for fair competition for Chinese companies and will do nothing to undermine bilateral cooperation and mutual trust."

"The European Union has reasons to worry"

Japan wants to act with caution not to stop the recent improvement in relations with China, which led, at the end of October, to an important visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the country. By taking such measures against ZTE and Huawei, however, Japan is following several countries, such as Australia, which responded to a US injunction. On November 23, Washington asked countries that host US military bases, such as Germany, Italy or Japan, to stop using Huawei's equipment.

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The United States has obtained arrest from Canada on 1st December, in Vancouver, by Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the colossus based in Shenzhen (in the south of China) and daughter of the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei. She is suspected of hiding the links from the Chinese telecommunications equipment provider with a company that was trying to evade US sanctions against Iran. Huawei's distrust is also expressed in Europe. "The European Union has reason to be concerned about Huawei Technologies and other Chinese technology companies because of the threats posed to the sector and the security of the community blockade"Friday, Andrus Ansip, vice president of the European Commission responsible for the digital single market, said.

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