Recently, there’s been talk of Germany planning to ban Huawei Technologies from selling 5G wireless equipment. In response to that, at a Handelsblatt event on Saturday, the Chinese ambassador to Berlin, Wu Ken has released a threat to put an end to the booming business that German automakers enjoy in China if that eventually happened.
“The Chinese government will not be a mute spectator if Germany were to exclude Huawei from conducting business in the country”.
There has been a growing concern in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government regarding Germany’s business policy with China. The ambassador’s comments closely followed the introduction of a bill that would ban ‘untrustworthy’ 5G vendors from operating on German soil. Although the German legislation does not mention Huawei, it is tailored for the Chinese company. Huawei has rejected every allegation of espionage.
In an interview with Der Tagesspiegel, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, “We should refrain from singling out institutions, and instead focus on using the most reliable hardware components and safety protocols when it comes to matters of national security. Whoever fails to meet the standards are out”.
Huawei’s future as a global business conglomerate is currently uncertain, following POTUS Donald Trump urging US allies to sever business ties with the company. This could prove to be costly for the Chinese tech giant considering the heavy investments in developing 5G technology. Huawei recently filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission in a bid to fight the US sanctions imposed on it.
Commenting on the situation, ambassador Wu said Huawei has no legal obligation to provide information to the Chinese government. While reminding the audience that German automakers sell close to 28 million cars in China every year.
“Could we suddenly say one day that these German cars are unsafe, simply because we now have the technology required to manufacture our own vehicles? No. That would simply be protectionism”. Wu said in a video posted on the Handelssblat website.
China is the biggest market for German automakers, including Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, and BMW AG. Every German auto manufacturer has invested heavily in China, setting up its own manufacturing and distribution network. Although the Chinese auto market has seen a slump in the past year. It is still miles ahead of Europe and America in terms of total sales figures.
Despite the slowdown, German automobiles are faring better than most Chinese car-makers in the major cities. While Chinese automakers continue to sell vehicles in rural areas due to their products being cheaper. Meanwhile, German automakers plan on investing further in China to promote electric vehicle sales and add new models to their existing portfolio.