February 6, 2020 / 4:10 PM / 23 days ago

U.S., allies should consider Nokia, Ericsson investments to counter Huawei: Barr

U.S. Attorney General William Barr arrives for U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/POOL

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday stressed the threat posed by Huawei Technologies and said the United States and its allies should consider investing in Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson to counter the Chinese company’s dominance in next generation 5G telecoms technology.

Barr said there had been some proposals that concerns about Huawei “could be met by the United States aligning itself with Nokia and/or Ericsson, through American ownership of a controlling stake, either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies.

“Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a far more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power, or their staying power,” Barr said in a speech to a Washington think tank conference on China.

“We and our closest allies certainly need to be actively considering this approach,” Barr said.

The United States alleges that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s equipment for espionage, which Huawei denies.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball, David Brunnstrom and Chris Sanders; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

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