back to article 60% of Germany's 5G network is Huawei, says Chinese embassy

Huawei accounts for nearly 60 percent of Germany's 5G network equipment, according to a spokesperson from the Chinese embassy. The official was responding to reports that Germany intends to ban Chinese technology, including Huawei and ZTE components, in the construction of the nation's 5G infrastructure. "For a long time, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

    Yo! ....pick your problem:

    (1) Huawei and China

    (2) Cisco and Fort Meade

    Difficult......no?

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

      I would suggest that Germany would much rather pivot to Siemens equipment, or alternatively Nokia ( or Alcatel / Philips? do they still do telecoms stuff?? )

      1. Kernel

        Re: ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

        "...... or alternatively Nokia ( or Alcatel / Philips? do they still do telecoms stuff?? )"

        I don't know what Phillips does nowdays, but Alcatel merged with Lucent to become Alcatel-Lucent long ago, who were then bought by Nokia almost as long ago - got the staff goodies from all three to remind me of the changes.

        What are now Alcatel cellphones are made by some Chinese company that bought the rights to use the old Alcatel name and branding on their products.

        1. Netbofia

          Re: ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

          Philips has licensed it's Brand name out to Asia. It know only makes eletrical shavers and toothbrushes and Medical equipment.

    2. Mostly Irrelevant

      Re: ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

      Huawei is largely owned by the Chinese government, Cisco is owned by private citizens. USA is a rule of law country and China is a rule by law country. Those are a major differences to me.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: ...and 100% of Germany's Internet is Cisco........................

        "USA is a rule of law country..."

        Yes, and by the law of the US and, more importantly, the way the law is implemented and policed in practice, the NSA and CIA are free to intercept and store any electronic communications they wish. Any court pushback against that centres around the rights of US citizens/residents.

        While I am completely in agreement that the US offers citizens, residents and 3rd-party nationals/companies far more rights than China, I am under no illusions about the trustworthiness of the US with respect to Europeans' communications and data privacy - pretty much zero!

  2. jmch Silver badge

    Proof???

    "As more countries, including the UK, have fallen in line with the idea that the kit might be dangerous and ordered its replacement, Germany seems to have (eventually) come round"

    AFAIK, GCHQ did an in-depth review of Huawei kit and found nothing. Germany's security services did an in-depth review of Huawei kit and declared the risks manageable. While not publicised, I'm pretty sure the NSA or whoever had a long hard look at anything Huawei, and though we didn't hear anything, they surely would have piped up if there was a smoking gun. In short, nothing to see here!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      jmch - Re: Proof???

      Unfortunately proof and truth for that matter are irrelevant here. We all know who and for what reason is orchestrating all this.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Proof???

      So is using Huawei kit risky? Maybe, but I see about 70 recommendations emailed to me every week - "Please download ORDER NOTICE_pdf.rar (hgdkd.exe)" - so I'm a hell of a lot more worried about the daily Internet email deliveries than any potential Huawei kit issues. What's going to happen if I search Huawei issues on Google, is my data safer locally or will I start getting adverts for non-Huawei kit?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @jmch - Re: Proof???

      While GCHQ did an in-depth review of Huawei kit and found nothing, US was spying German chancellor's phone.

      The reason why Huawei kit must be removed is not the fact that China might (possibly) spy on German communications. It is because China has the possibility to see US is ruthlessly spying on their partners and allies. And this can not be allowed.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Proof???

      GCHQ did an in-depth review of Huawei kit and found nothing.

      Not quite. They found no deliberate back-doors, but they did fine piss-poor coding practices and a real struggle to get repeatable builds of firmware as a result. Why have a secret back-door if your windows are open?

      Flip-side is they did not review other vendors and, based on the high score CVE from Cisco, SonicWall, Fortinet, etc, they don't seem much better.

      1. Al fazed
        Happy

        Re: Proof???

        Why have a secret back-door if your

        "Windows"

        are open?

        Exactly ?

        ALF

    5. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Proof???

      Apart from treating their citizens like slaves, grabbing islands they have no claim too, threatening Taiwan, occupying Tibet, ignoring the most basic of human rights, stealing western IP and the rounding up and torture of Urghars, they are just lovely people.

      Sometimes it's more than the the technology.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Proof???

        According to the doctrine of free trade, that is utterly irrelevant. But according to the laws of nature, the US-led open conspiracy to start a trade war on China, pissing off the Chinese government by using restraint of trade to damage their economy will not have the slightest effect on their approach to human rights. Especially due to US hypocrisy, such as not sanctioning Israel for its outrageous actions against Palestinians.

        1. DBAosaurus

          Re: Proof???

          Stop picking on Israel please. It's like an unthinking kneejerk reaction to a complex dispute in a tough neighbourhood, one in which both sides are the victims of their own actions.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Proof???

            "a complex dispute in a tough neighbourhood, one in which both sides are the victims of their own actions."

            Yes it is, and yet the US has consistently sided with Israel (including US politicians openly supporting Israeli policy that went directly against current US policy and national interest). As a result, what used to be a fairly balanced tit-for-that with victims and abusers on both sides, and sides victims of their own actions, is now a very one-sided affair where Israel is bludgeoning Palestine to death with complete impunity while loudly complaining about the minor scratches it occasionally receives. Israel has been empowered to keep ratcheting up it's abuses, safe in the knowledge that it doesn't matter how many people it pisses off in Europe or anywhere else, because the US has it's back.

            25 years ago there was some hope of sorting the whole mess out. Now it's gone so far as to be irretrievable for many decades.

            1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Proof???

              Last year there was some hope of sorting the whole Russia/Ukraine mess out. Now it's gone so far as to be irretrievable for many decades. (not FTFY)

              Government stupidity is common everywhere, at least our Brexit incident was only a relatively minor thing in comparison, nowhere near as bad as other countries issues.

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: Proof???

            >t's like an unthinking kneejerk reaction to a complex dispute...

            The same could be said for eastern China. However, there's a big difference between 'coping with a situation' and 'provoking a situation'. The Israeli right wing seem to have forgotten -- more likely, not learned -- the lessons from the 1930 since they're using exactly the same tactics against an unwelcome population that were used against unwelcome peoples back then.

            Anyway, this has nothing to do with 'rip and replace'. Its primarily a product of lobbying -- vendors of less competitive kit see an opportunity to make sales. As for the 'risks' -- we're professionals here, there's no mystery to any of this equipment, its easy enough to see how it works and how it communicates (especially as its primary functions are standards based and certified to those standards). All the FUD comes from people who's primary work material is words, not technologies.

    6. Disgusted of Cheltenham

      Re: Proof???

      GCHQ's early published comments on Huawei kit gave specific examples of very sloppy and insecure programming, but also noted that this did not mean it was worse than that from any other source since the others had not been scrutinised to the same level of detail. For more recent see https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/hcsec-ob-report

      It's worth recalling that the UK ban came in response to the US/Trump controls which would make it impossible to repair the infrastructure.

    7. Julz

      Re: Proof???

      Hum, GCHQ did an in-depth review of Huawei kit and SAID nothing, well publicly at least.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proof???

      Until the moment we load that very special firmware. You know the code we don't normally load and aren't stupid enough to tell anybody about. You want to see the firmware source, no problem. Is this the code we always load, yes of course .... :-') ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proof???

        Full code for UK products appears to have been provided since 2017. Binary equivalence verified for one product. Recommended that Huawei re-engineer its build processes to deliver binary equivalence routinely as part of the standard product release cycle, rather than delivering binary equivalence through a bespoke project for the UK.

        Maybe Germany wasn't happy they weren't getting the bespoke binary equivalent code too.

      2. Al fazed
        Megaphone

        Re: Proof???

        Mate,

        my humble pc became victim to a none existent BIOS update many years ago.. The only peeps utilising such a means to gain undetectable access and control at that time were UK GCHQ and some US outfit operating under some acronym, with acrimony...........

        Maybe my support of various none governmental orgs at that time warranted such efforts to gain info ? Who knows ? It wasn't the Chinese I know that much.

        ALF

    9. Al fazed
      Thumb Up

      Re: Proof???

      smear Huawei with

      "Trumped"

      -up charges.

      If I remember correctly

      ALF

  3. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    China is imperialist and communist, they're never your friend but either your master or your enemy.

    The US are imperialist and woke, they're never your friend but either your master or your enemy.

    I hope Germany will at least replace Huawei kit with Nokia or Ericsson stuff and not Cisco et al.!

    1. Xalran

      In 5G, there's no change to replace it by Cisco stuff. ( beyond as routers for the front and backhauling )

      For the all important part where Huawei is present in mobile network, the Radio Access part, the options are limited :

      - Huawei ( China )

      - ZTE ( China )

      - Ericsson ( Sweden )

      - Nokia ( Finland )

      - NEC ( Japan, and they are not really working outside of Japan )

      - a South Korean company ( forgot the name, and they too don't really work outside of SK )

      Then you have all the openRAN stuff... But that does not cover the antennas.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just plain bad

    Even if a country produced its own kit with armed guards at every workstation and the highest level of security, the idea of this being safe is just naive. Unless they are able to monitor every bit of kit between the clients in the wild then it can be compromised by someone intercepting it (e.g. the US gov monitoring site2site traffic of all the big internet companies) or some other reason like a bug.

    Instead they should consider all comms eq as possibly hostile and ensure that traffic is secured between the clients. For example not try to weaken encryption....

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Just plain bad

      It depends on what you want to stop. What you sensibly propose would avoid the interception of message contents which is obviously a very important aspect of keeping stuff safe/secret.

      But having a back door in to the comms infrastructure allows you to do other things like sniff the metadata (i.e. who is talking to persons of interest) or to bring the whole lot down to disrupt logisitics and commerce if you were, say, planning to invade somebody nearby...

  5. Someone Else Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Did they really say that?

    In the statement, they called the endeavor to remove the products an "abuse of state power to interfere in the market" [...]

    Something about a pot and a kettle....

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Did they really say that?

      Have you any idea how much "Western" kit is in use in China? A large part of it was made in China, too, since they are better at manufacturing than most Western countries. Double D'oh.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Did they really say that?

        "since they are better cheaper at manufacturing"

        FTFY. On the other hand, with industrialisation, wages are rising in China and even they are outsourcing to cheaper places in some cases (and also for sanctions/trade reasons too)

  6. Mark Exclamation

    "In the statement, they called the endeavor to remove the products an "abuse of state power to interfere in the market""...... Hmmm, the Chinese government NEVER interferes in the market... oh wait.

  7. NeilPost Silver badge

    No compensation

    Seems odd that the German Govt has left it so long and - as the article hints - wants to rip and replace without compensation.

    Meanwhile .. little mention of other potential common Chinese stuff - most electronics, Lenovo Laptop,

    Strange how they’ll spaff billions to build a chip plant to fuxk China over…, but not want to fund rip and replace in critical 5G network.

  8. dave 93
    Meh

    Force Huawei to partner with a 'local' manufacturer

    Huawei should be compelled to partner with Seimens in Germany, so that their 5G technology can be transferred to a European manufacturer.

    You know, just like the Chinese government makes western manufacturers do if they want to sell in China...

    1. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

      Re: Force Huawei to partner with a 'local' manufacturer

      That's genius actually. China can't even complain, it's tit for tat.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Force Huawei to partner with a 'local' manufacturer

        But unworkable in reality. China requires that of ALL foreign companies working in China. To be true tit-for-tat and even barely legally workable, Germany would have to do the same for all non-German companies with a manufacturing presence in Germany. And get the rest of the EU to agree to that framework.

  9. K

    I'm giving up..

    Commenting on these posts.

    This had zero to do with spying or national security as we'd see it, it's purely economical warfare.

    Once Trump had harassed and bullied the "friends and allies", then finally got his way - he offered a deal to China, to soften up the restrictions on Huawei... I can't recall exactly what he wanted in return.. But the point is, the smug orange asshole used as pawns..

  10. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    If Germany cripples their 5G rollout by forcing the removal of Huawei kit

    ... will anything of value be lost?

    Much ado about nothing of importance, IMO. 5G is a solution looking for a (real) problem.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: If Germany cripples their 5G rollout by forcing the removal of Huawei kit

      I agree. The theory is nice, a thousand tiny nodes with a few users each instead of one large node with thousands of users per node means more available bandwidth per user, but in practice? Not so much. I have a 5G phone but don't live in the heart of a large city, so almost never see 5G coverage. I turned it off to force the phone to use 4G. And I'm bummed about it too, because I really wanted 5G to work since it promised to give me a much larger data signal, enough that I could ditch my internet connection for a hot spot with more speed.

  11. Glenn Amspaugh
    Coat

    60% of your base tower belong to us.

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