The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sent a letter to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier specifically naming Chinese tech firm Huawei. Washington has been trying to dissuade its allies from allowing Huawei to provide equipment for fifth-generation cell networks, claiming it could facilitate digital espionage by the Chinese government.
U.S. embassy spokesman Joseph Giordono-Scholz declined to comment on the contents of the letter, but said the U.S. position is that if allies use "untrusted vendors" this could raise questions about the confidentiality of sensitive communications and "jeopardize nimble cooperation and some sharing of information" in future.
11:30 a.m. Monday
Chinese tech giant Huawei's tensions with Washington, which says the telecom equipment maker is a security risk, stretch across four continents from courtrooms to corporate boardrooms to Canadian canola fields.
In the latest twist, Huawei Technologies Ltd. is asking a court in Texas to strike down a legal ban on the government using its equipment or dealing with any contractor that does.
Washington is trying to persuade European and other allies to shun the biggest maker of network technology as their phone carriers invest billions of dollars in upgrading to next-generation communications.
The company denies accusations it might facilitate Chinese spying or is controlled by the ruling Communist Party. Chinese authorities say the United States is exaggerating security concerns to block a potential competitor.
Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors are trying to extradite Huawei's chief financial officer from Canada to face charges she lied to banks about dealings with Iran.