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Norway intelligence service issues Huawei warning

Several countries like the United States have banned Huawei 5G telecoms equipment for security reasons
Several countries like the United States have banned Huawei 5G telecoms equipment for security reasons AFP/File
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Oslo (AFP)

Norway's intelligence service PST on Monday issued a warning about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, whose ties to Beijing have sparked security concerns.

"One has to be attentive about Huawei as an actor and about the close connections between a commercial actor like Huawei and the Chinese regime," the head of Norway's domestic intelligence unit PST, Benedicte Bjornland, said as she presented a national risk assessment report for 2019.

"An actor like Huawei could be subject to influence from its home country as long as China has an intelligence law that requires private individuals, entities and companies to cooperate with China," she said.

In Norway, the main telecoms operators Telenor and Telia -- which chose Huawei to supply their 4G networks -- are gearing up for the roll-out of 5G.

Several countries like the United States have banned Huawei 5G telecoms equipment for security reasons. The Scandinavian country is considering ways of limiting its exposure.

"As far as we're concerned, it's about setting up a regulatory framework to protect what could be considered critical infrastructure," Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara said at the same press conference.

"What this regulatory framework would look like, and what it would cover, is what we're working on right now," he said.

Norway is treading cautiously on the issue, after China's angry reaction to the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, triggering lengthy diplomatic and trade repercussions from Beijing's side.

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