US pressure to get European countries and others to ban Huawei technology and equipment has suffered a setback. At a recent telecommunications conference in Barcelona, Etisalat, UAE’s state telecom company, announced it will move forward with their strategic partnership with the Chinese technology company “to build a new high-speed wireless network,” reports The New York Times.

“5G is considered a major enabler for the next generation of broadband service and the Internet of Things, which is growing exponentially due to the global adoption of connected devices,” Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Networks of Etisalat, said in a press release. “5G service availability will provide high data rates with ultra-low latency, providing unlimited access to all kinds of innovative applications and services and will drive efficiency and productivity to a wide range of business across industrial sectors of the UAE.”

The carrier has been investing for years in its 5G technology, which will now be deployed across the UAE, after it agreed last year to bring its technology to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, writes VentureBeat. It was after this event and throughout 2018 that the Trump administration increased efforts to boycott the Chinese company and lobbied extensively to advertise the company and its technology as a cybersecurity risk to national security.

US officials argue that a law in China lets the government ask companies to collaborate on national security issues, hinting they could hand over valuable information to the Chinese government as part of a major cyberespionage operation. Huawei rejected the claims. Chairman Guo Ping said the company “has not and will never plant back doors. And we will never allow anyone to do so in our equipment.”

He argued that the US is already responsible for mass internet surveillance, and credited Edward Snowden and his revelations.

“Government and the mobile operators should work together to agree what this assurance testing and certification rating for Europe will be,” said Guo. “Let experts decide whether networks are safe or not. Huawei has a strong track record in security for three decades. Serving three billion people around the world. The U.S. security accusation of our 5G has no evidence. Nothing.”

Huawei’s telecommunication equipment is popular in Europe, but some countries, such as Germany, France, Poland and the Czech Republic, could restrict the technology. A US delegation was present at the conference to push for restrictions on Huawei but they failed in providing substantial evidence to sustain their claims, says The New York Times.

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