Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region have followed Washington's call for a Huawei ban, but the situation in Europe is more subtle, especially because Huawei's 5G capability is so attractive. Analysts say Huawei's 5G strength is far ahead of Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.
"Operators have considered alternatives, but they have realized that Huawei is now more innovative and a more suitable 5G partner." Fitch Solutions analyst Dexter Thillien said.
Ability and talent
Huawei is under increasingly stringent scrutiny in terms of network security. Currently, the United States, Australia and Japan have prevented Huawei from participating in 5G network construction.
But in Europe, the main Portuguese operator, MEO, signed an agreement with Huawei during a visit by Chinese state leaders in December, praising the Chinese company for its "knowledge, ability and talent in R&D technology and investment in the local market".
In contrast, the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications said in local media that most of Norway's current network is made up of Huawei equipment, and that the country is considering how to reduce its "vulnerability", especially for Oslo and its "no security cooperation" countries, alluding to China.
Gavin Williamson, the British Defense Minister, also said he was "seriously and deeply concerned about Huawei's 5G network equipment in the UK".
Expensive but better
News magazine Der Spiegel reports that Germany is under pressure from Washington. But the country's IT regulator said there was no evidence that Huawei used its equipment to monitor its activities.
At the same time, telecom operators across Europe are facing tremendous pressure to quickly launch 5G services, and they seem to be diluting security concerns because the use of Huawei is of commercial significance to them.
"Today Huawei's price is much more expensive than its competitors, but much better." A spokesman for a European operator said he would not give his name because of the sensitivity of the matter. He added that the quality of Huawei's equipment was "really ahead" of its European competitors.
In addition, "Operators everywhere in Europe are the targets of intense control, and Huawei's equipment has never been found to have any problems."
Some large operators may refuse to use Huawei's equipment in some markets, but not in others.
Orange, the French Telecom operator, had previously said it would not use Huawei's network equipment in the French market, but would continue to use it in Spain and Poland.
Deutsche Telekom has announced a 5G network partnership with Huawei in Poland, but has not yet disclosed whether it will cooperate in the German market.
At the same time, Huawei is trying to prove its sincerity. Huawei has opened test laboratories in Germany and the UK in cooperation with the German and British governments, and will open a new laboratory in Brussels at the end of the first quarter of this year.
Europe is an important market for Huawei. Its sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 27% of the group's total sales in 2017, mainly due to the expenditure of European operators.
In late December, Guo Ping, Huawei's rotating chairman, said the company had been "extremely unfair". "Huawei has not been and will not be a threat to cyber security in the past," he said in his New Year's address.
Some analysts suspect that even a broad ban on China's telecommunications network equipment may not guarantee absolute security.