May 21, 2024

Telekom and Huawei wanted to circumvent US sanctions

Huawei has long been the focus of politicians because of its links to the Chinese state and military, and in recent times the electronics maker and network supplier’s air has become increasingly thin. There have been and imposed penalties, but Telekom may not have seen them so narrowly.


As a large telecom group and network operator, Deutsche Telekom relies on the right hardware and Huawei has been a popular business partner here. But in recent years, the West has increased pressure on the Chinese company and since then it has been impossible or possible only to a limited extent to use Huawei components – it was even recently announced that the federal government removed Chinese technology from the already. Installed 5G networks you want.

This development is not new, because the allegations against Huawei were already known at the end of 2018, and the pressure has been building since then. This was also known to Deutsche Telekom, but it seems that the Bonn-based company did not view the matter too narrowly or rather put business ahead of any suspicion of espionage.

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A confidentiality agreement with Huawei

Because according to a report from Handelsblatt Telekom and Huawei are said to have signed an agreement in 2019 with the aim of circumventing US sanctions. The business newspaper also wants tangible evidence of this, in the form of a signed contract. It states that the goal is to “prevent potential supply risks related to Huawei products that contain components from the United States”. Spare parts must therefore be “stored and managed in Huawei’s European warehouses”, and individual Huawei devices are said to have been handed over to Telekom “as a precautionary measure”.

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It can certainly be argued that such a precaution would probably make economic sense, given the federal government’s 30 percent stake in Telekom, but politically it could be seen as more than problematic.


  • Huawei is being targeted by politicians because of its links to the Chinese state and military.
  • Telekom relies on the right hardware.
  • Increased pressure on Huawei, the components can not be used or can only be used in a limited range.
  • Telekom and Huawei signed an agreement to circumvent US sanctions.
  • Spare parts must be European warehouse stocked.
  • The preventive measure makes economic sense, but is politically problematic.

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