Chinese tech giant Huawei has threatened to go to court if the Czech
National Cyber and Information Security Agency does not cancel or adjust
its warning against incorporating Huawei technology, the daily Deník N
reports. The company has apparently stated this in letters sent to Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš and Dušan Navrátil, the agency’s director.
Huawei has demanded an answer by February 14. The government discussed the
matter on Friday and decided that Huawei's letter will be answered by
the cybersecurity agency and not by government.
The threat of international arbitration follows the withdrawal by various government ministries from contracts with Huawei after the Czech cyber watchdog issued a warning in December against using Huawei technology in the state’s critical infrastructure.
The European Commission is considering proposals that would amount to a
de-facto ban on Huawei Technologies Co. equipment for next-generation
mobile networks, the news agency Reuters reported citing four senior EU
The issue is a matter of concern in many EU member states, including the Czech Republic, where the National Cyber and Security Information Agency recently issued a warning regarding Huawei products. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company and Czech experts are now analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
The question of whether to ban Huawei from the 5G mobile network has raised controversy since it could mean delays and extra costs, undermining the country’s efforts to stay competitive.
Prime Minister Babiš recently called for cyber-security concerns to be addressed and resolved at EU-level.
During a trip to Washington, the Czech foreign minister, Tomáš
Petříček, will discuss the possibility of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
meeting President Donald Trump at the White House, Hospodářské noviny
reported on Thursday. Mr. Petříček will raise the matter with his US
counterpart, Mike Pompeo, in late February.
Mr. Petříček told Hospodářské noviny that the Czech authorities’ stance toward Chinese telecoms giant Huawei had helped to bring about the possible meeting with Mr. Trump, which is mooted for this spring.
Organisations crucial to the running of the Czech state have been ordered to review their use of Huawei products in view of a potential security risk. The US authorities have accused the Chinese firm of the theft of technology and other crimes.
The Czech Republic’s taxation authority has excluded the Chinese company
Huawei from a public tender procedure for a CZK 500 million tax-filing
website, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. The
Financial Administration took the decision on the basis of a command from
the National Cyber and Security Information Agency issued to 160
organisations key to the running of the country.
The agency last month warned of the dangers of using software or hardware from Huawei or ZTE, another Chinese company, and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš subsequently ordered the country’s most important public and private entities to review their usage of such products.
The planned website Moje daně should simplify the submission of tax returns and will handle sensitive data.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
said cyber-security concerns should be resolved at EU-level.
The Czech prime minister met with the president of the Huawei executive board Ken Hu within the framework of the forum, to inform him about the present situation.
He said that in the wake of a security warning regarding Huawei products by the National Cyber and Security Information Agency, Czech experts were analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
When the warning was released a few weeks ago Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company. Other Czech government bodies have followed suit.
President Miloš Zeman says Beijing cancelled a meeting between China’s
foreign minister and his Czech counterpart in response to Czech warnings
over Chinese-made Huawei technology. Speaking in a TV interview on Thursday
evening, he said China had also postponed a meeting of an intergovernmental
commission on economic cooperation without offering a new date.
However, a spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the intergovernmental committee meeting had been rescheduled and that this had been confirmed by Chinese officials.
The Czech cyber watchdog agency said last month that using Huawei or ZET products could prove a security threat. In addition, the country’s most important organisations have been ordered to carry out assessments of the risks involved in using such Chinese technology.
Mr. Zeman said he would like to meet the head of Huawei to clear the situation up during a visit to China in April.
The Czech government has ordered the administrators of the country’s
critical infrastructure to carry out an analysis of the risks of using
software and hardware produced by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. This
concerns a total of 160 public and private organisations.
The National Cyber and Security Information Agency has been instructed to provide them with assistance in this regard, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday.
The National Cyber and Security Information Agency last month flagged up the usage of Huawei and ZTE products as a potential security threat.