German minister fears excluding Huawei could hurt economy

FILE PHOTO: The logo of China's Huawei Technologies shines in the bright sun over the headquarters of the telecommunications giant in Duesseldorf, Germany, February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Excluding China’s Huawei from participating in the construction of Germany’s 5G next-generation mobile network could hurt Europe’s largest economy, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday.

Seehofer, a Bavarian conservative, urged a dialogue with China and a technical solution to concerns about security.

He warned against excluding Huawei, adding of such a scenario: “Then I fear that would leave a mark on economic development.”

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States had told Germany it would share less intelligence with its security agencies if the country’s wireless network uses China’s Huawei Technologies Co to upgrade to 5G.

Asked about that warning on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would define its own security standards for a new 5G mobile network.

Seehofer welcomed Merkel’s approach, praising her for reacting with a “certain serenity”.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin and David Evans