Huawei says Italy's new 5G powers discriminate against it

FILE PHOTO: A Huawei signage is pictured at their store at Vina del Mar, Chile July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Chinese telecoms equipment group Huawei Technologies criticised the Italian government’s newly beefed-up powers to intervene in the development of fifth-generation (5G) telecom services, saying they discriminated against the company.

Luigi De Vecchis, chairman of Huawei Italia, made the comment in a parliamentary hearing, after the government moved by urgent decree last week to strengthen its existing so-called “golden power” to intervene in the private sector.

It did so due to concerns over the potential involvement of Huawei and fellow Chinese equipment maker ZTE Corp in the development of 5G networks, a government source has said.

The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid Huawei equipment and to also pay close scrutiny to ZTE, alleging the vendors could pose a security risk. Both companies have strongly denied any such risk.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Mark Bendeich