Chinese telecom giant Huawei has called on Rome to ensure the “transparent, efficient and fair” use of its ‘golden power’ when it comes to developing Italy’s 5G network.
The CEO of Huawei’s Italian unit, Thomas Miao, said on Monday the company will invest $3.1 billion in the country over the next three years. Speaking at an event in Milan, Miao announced that the Chinese company would also provide 1,000 jobs in Italy.
Tourists on a boat pass by a billboard of Chinese telecommunications brand Huawei on the Naviglio canal, south of Milan, Italy © AFP / Miguel Medina
He confirmed that Huawei would cut 1,000 jobs in the United States. According to the Italy unit’s chief executive, Huawei has “a plan B” to guarantee supplies of components if it is kept on a blacklist by Washington after August.
The US has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid Huawei equipment and also to closely scrutinize another major Chinese telecom giant, ZTE. While Washington alleges the Chinese vendors could pose a security risk, both companies have strongly denied any such risk.
Last week, the Italian government used an urgent legislative decree to strengthen its existing power to intervene in the private sector for the defense of national security and other national interests. The decree did not mention Huawei or ZTE.
An unnamed government source told Reuters that Rome has consolidated its “golden power” over the private sector partly due to concerns over the potential involvement of Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp in the development of 5G networks.