Hungary Ignores U.S. Security Allegations, Reaffirms Internet Deal With Huawei
Amid security-related disputes as alleged by the U.S. government, Huawei has secured what appears to be a solid partnership with Hungary. The European country reaffirmed that the Chinese tech giant will work on its project to improve internet access for Hungarians.
According to Reuters, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said Huawei will help the government achieve its scheme of providing 90 percent of the country's families with high-speed, reliable internet connections by 2025. The statement was made after Varga met with one of Huawei's senior executives in Beijing.
A number of European states have expressed concerns over Huawei's technologies after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration called on its allies to ban the tech behemoth's 5G networks. The U.S. government has also threatened to limit information sharing with Germany if it refuses to ban the company.
However, recent reports suggested that the Trump administration may have developed a softer stance on the issue. Instead of a blanket ban, the White House reportedly toned down to demanding Germany to impose strict 5G policies for one of China's leading tech firms.
Despite intense disputes over the past months, Hungary has been building close ties with China. The European state has been securing deals with some of Beijing, Huawei, and other companies that could help open opportunities for Budapest to spur economic growth.
Hungary's Finance Ministry said on Tuesday that Huawei is one of its strategic partners in building initiatives for improving the country's information technology. In fact, the Chinese firm has its biggest overseas logistics center in Hungary.
Compared to other member states in the European Union (EU), Hungary is still growing its internet subscribers. Over the last few years, the figures have been climbing, paving the way for Huawei and other tech providers to potentially be part of the growth in the Hungarian tech industry.
The latest data from Hungary's Central Statistical Office (KSH) revealed that internet subscriptions in the country saw a hike of 5.4 percent last year. From 4.33 million internet users in 2011, the country now has 9.93 people going online.
While only 20 percent of the recorded subscriptions were made by entrepreneurs and the remaining 80 percent were made by personal subscribers, it is expected that Hungary's tech industry will grow in the coming years.
Hungary's cooperation with Huawei is seen by industry experts as a way of opening tech doors to the world. The European country has yet to expand its tech-in-business initiative but the latest developments with the Honor maker could establish the foundation for new sectors to emerge.