Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s foreign minister, told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday that Portugal would not exclude Chinese companies from the country’s 5G network. This is reportedly making Portugal the latest EU country to reject us calls. The latter is trying to persuade its allies not to accept Huawei’s bid to provide operators with hardware for 5G networks.
Mr Silva said the 5G operator’s bid would be assessed in accordance with strict Portuguese and EU regulations. Altice Portugal, the leading local wireless carrier, partnered with Huawei last year to develop 5G technology and is preparing to launch its service in 2020.
European countries are embroiled in a geopolitical battle over the 5G network because of Lobbying by the United States. Other EU countries, including Germany and the UK, have also rejected Huawei’s request to block Huawei, although no final decision has been made. Hungary announced last month that Huawei would participate in the construction of its 5G network.
The decisions have caused some tension between the EU and the US at this point, although there are signs that Europe is taking US concerns more seriously. The Council of the European Union this week adopted 5G conclusions, stressing that cyber security should take into account “non-technical factors, including legal and policy frameworks” that suppliers may face in third countries.
Silva said all foreign investment was welcome. He pointed out that a public tender for a container terminal in Sines, the country’s largest Atlantic deep-water port, was about to begin. He expects Chinese companies to bid and hopes that U.S. companies will compete as well.