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China Could Retaliate Against German Automakers If Government Bans Huawei 5G

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China Could Retaliate Against German Automakers If Government Bans Huawei 5G

If the German government moves to ban Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s 5G services, the "Chinese government will not stand idly by," the country's ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken said at an event in Berlin, according to Bloomberg.

What Happened

"If Germany were to take a decision that leads to Huawei's exclusion from the German market, there will be consequences," Wu said at an event hosted by Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper on Friday, as translated by Bloomberg.

Wu pointed out the presence of German automakers in China, which accounted for 25% of all car sales in the country last year, according to him.

"Could we say one day that these German cars are no longer safe because we're in a position to manufacture our own cars?" he said, according to Bloomberg. "No. That is pure protectionism."

Is That A Threat?

Wu's remarks over German automakers, which were posed as question, created a controversy on Twitter over whether they could be interpreted as a threat.

Thorsten Benner, the co-founder of Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, posted a translation of Wu's remarks in English, which implied him making a direct threat. Benner later said that he mistranslated Wu's words a bit, but was correct on the general idea of the message.

Benner's views were contested by other analysts, who said that China has a right to defend its interests.

"Anyone who believes China should remain silent and not respond are living in 1900," Chen Weihua, China Daily's E.U. Bureau Chief, responded to Benner's tweet.

Why It Matters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing increased pressure from her coalition allies in the country to exclude Huawei from the list of authorized 5G suppliers. Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

President Donald Trump has asked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to pursue sanctions against Huawei for security risks, as reported by Reuters.

Norway's Telenor ASA (OTC: TELNY) abandoned Huawei on Friday as its 5G supplier, in favor of Swedish telecom giant Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), according to Reuters.

Posted-In: 5G Angela MerkelNews Politics Global Tech Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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