EU must assess Huawei risk despite lack of evidence: EU digital chief

The logo of Huawei Technologies is pictured atop the German headquarters of the Chinese telecommunications giant in Duesseldorf, Germany, February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union must assess the risk of using Huawei’s telecoms equipment despite the absence of evidence of spying by the Chinese company, EU digital chief Andrus Ansip said on Wednesday.

Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment company, is facing intense scrutiny in the West over its ties with China’s government and U.S.-led allegations that its devices could be used by Beijing for spying.

The fact that the company is subject to Chinese intelligence laws is worrying, European Commission Vice-President Ansip said.

“Yes, we have to deal with risk assessment. They say you do not have solid evidence. Sorry, that is another topic,” he told a cybersecurity conference.

“Because of these intelligence laws, we have to deal with risk assessment. It is too late for us when we will have enough solid evidence made available publicly,” Ansip said.

The EU is counting on its cybersecurity act, directive on security of network and information systems (NIS) and foreign direct investment screening regulation to stave off cybersecurity threats.

Britain has not seen any evidence of malicious activity by Huawei, the head of its National Cyber Security Center told the same conference.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans