The key measure is to require major French telecommunications operators – including Altic Europe, NV's SFR unit and Bouygues Telecom – to remove Huawei wireless equipment from metropolitan areas in France.
This ban started at the beginning of the 2021 calendar year. The French Constitutional Council amended provisions in the law that require French phone companies to introduce their own 5G network, phrasing out Huawei gears from major cities' mobile networks. The highest French court backed the law's aim under the name of national security. However, by October 2020, Huawei had just opened its sixth R&D center in Paris.
French authorities claimed that it is a difficult decision to strike a balance between retaining Huawei as a supplier and protecting national security over controls of integral parts of French wireless infrastructure.
Since 2020, Huawei's relationship with the French government has undergone several ups and downs. Starting from the beginning of 2020, the French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, had revealed that France would not ban 5G investments by Huawei.
According to Reuters, Le Maire informed France Info Radio that there was "no blanket ban" on Huawei in France. "We won't ban Huawei from investing in 5G, we will protect our national security interests," Le Maire said.
However, in July 2020, the French government started to purge Huawei wireless equipment. A partial reason was pressure imposed by the US government, said a source familiar with this matter.
Still, under the US ban on Huawei, many European countries have been pressured and are highly cautious regarding Huawei's constructions in their nations.
From the Sino-US trade war in the Trump era, the SonntagsZeitung newspaper claimed that US authorities have contacted the Swiss foreign ministry multiple times about the security risks of using Huawei technology. By October 2020, Sweden announced that it would ban Huawei and ZTE from its 5G network over national security concerns. Sweden companies were all in the auctions to remove the Chinese telecom equipment from existing infrastructure and core functions by January 1, 2025.
On November 26, 2020, the United Kingdom government also banned the installation of Huawei 5G equipment starting in September 2021. It is part of the UK roadmap to clear out Huawei from its 5G mobile network and tighten up the fences to protect national security and privacy.
German operator Vodafone also claimed that it would develop the 5G network in Germany to serve 20 million people by the end of 2021. Vodafone Germany had acquired EUR 2.29 billion to facilitate this plan at Germany's Federal Network Agency. The trend of building 5G networks is sweeping over the globe at lightning speed.