January 25, 2019 / 3:38 PM / 8 months ago

France tightens 5G network controls amid Huawei backlash

FILE PHOTO: A 5G sign is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - France is stepping up controls of telecoms infrastructure used in next-generation networks, a finance ministry official said, amid growing security concerns over Chinese group Huawei.

The increased vetting is not intended to target any particular equipment maker, the official said, after the measures were unveiled on Friday in a new amendment to draft business legislation backed by the government.

Huawei is facing scrutiny in many countries over its ties with the Chinese government and allegations that Beijing could use its technology for spying. It denies those allegations.

The United States and some allies, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned Huawei from 5G networks.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that Paris was aware of the risks of Huawei’s access to mobile networks and said the government would “take the necessary steps when needed”.

The new legislation will require operators to seek formal approval for the use of certain kinds of equipment considered to be particularly sensitive for spying or sabotage risks.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain and Laurence Frost

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