The Czech Republic has become the latest European country to express their concerns over the business practices adopted by Huawei. The country’s tax directorate has announced that it has excluded the Chinese vendor from a lucrative tender believed to worth over €20m.
Reports emerging from Czech Republic are claiming that other government institutions in the country are likely to follow suit after its own domestic cyber-security agency conveyed their concerns that Huawei’s software and hardware telecoms equipment posed a serious threat to national security.
Huawei is under intense scrutiny on a global scale and the following the resumption of the US government after a 34-day shutdown the telecommunications behemoth was served with 13 indictments that alleged Huawei engaged in intellectual property theft and fraud.
The vendor has been banned from participating in the build out of 5G networks in the US, Australia and New Zealand and Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom are believed to be considering imposing bans.
Huawei has received support from some European operators, notably Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom who warned that if a blanket ban is introduced then it will significantly impact the deployment of 5G on the continent.
The report also highlighted that Huawei was odds-on to win the Czech tender which was to build a tax portal containing sensitive personal data.
However, the tax directorate has now tweaked the conditions of the tender following the warning by the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency, which also named China's ZTE as a threat.
“China's laws, among other things, require private companies in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore allowing them into key state systems might present a threat," it said in December.
The warning came hot on the heels of a Czech intelligence report that warned Chinese diplomats have been engaged in increased espionage in the EU, notably in Poland and NATO member states of 10.6 million people.
The tax directorate's spokesman, Petr Haban, concluded by saying that the warning was binding for his office, "so we must act accordingly."