April 23, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 4 months ago

Czech president to meet Huawei boss in China on mission to boost ties

PRAGUE, April 23 (Reuters) - Czech President Milos Zeman will meet Huawei Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei when he visits China this week in a sign of support for the technology firm, which faces U.S. allegations that Beijing could use its technology for spying.

The meeting with Ren comes just days before a conference in Prague where the United States will push allies to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecoms networks.

Huawei denies that its products are used for spying.

Czech cyber watchdog NUKIB warned in December about potential dangers in using technology from Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE, forcing critical infrastructure providers like mobile operators to undertake risk analyses.

But Zeman has repeatedly dismissed allegations against Huawei as he presses for closer political and economic ties with Beijing and played down the findings of risks from NUKIB and the Czech counter-intelligence agency BIS.

A spokesman for Zeman said on Tuesday the president would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on his visit, along with the meeting with Huawei’s Zhengfei.

Zeman is due to be accompanied by a business delegation which includes Jiri Smejc, chief executive of Czech-based Home Credit which is a leading consumer finance lender in China, daily newspaper Hospodarske Noviny reported. (Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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