Romania authorizes Chinese company Lenovo to participate in 5G network
The Romanian Government has authorized Lenovo to participate in the 5G network of the country despite a special law keeping Chinese companies at bay due to significant suspicions regarding the involvement of the Chinese communist state in technological espionage activities.
The official decision was signed by prime minister Marcel Ciolacu and was greenlit by the Supreme Council for the Defense of the Country (CSAT), an entity led by president Klaus Iohannis.
Lenovo is a Chinese company based in Beijing and is one of the major hardware manufacturers in the world. In 2021, Iohannis enacted the Law on the adoption of measures regarding information and communication infrastructures of national interest and the conditions for implementing 5G networks.
The law stipulates that communication providers can use technologies, equipment, and software programs in 5G networks only from manufacturers previously authorized by the prime minister's decision, based on the conforming opinion of CSAT.
In order to participate in the construction of 5G telecommunications networks in Romania, a company must meet several conditions: a) it is not under the control of a foreign government without an independent legal system; b) has a transparent shareholder structure; c) has no history of unethical corporate conduct; d) is subject to a legal system that enforces transparent corporate practices. The law practically excluded the Chinese company Huawei from equipment implementation operations.
Romania also has the 5G Memorandum signed with the USA, aimed at limiting potential security risks from IT manufacturers in China. Nevertheless, the Supreme Council for the Defense of the Country (CSAT) approved on July 10, 2023, the requests for authorization to use 5G infrastructure equipment submitted by the Chinese companies Lenovo Global Technology HK Limited and Lenovo PC HK Limited.
In a response sent to Radio Free Europe, CSAT stated that the two companies in question are owned by Lenovo Group Limited, “which is an investment holding and intellectual property company operating as a limited liability company, organized under the laws of Hong Kong.” CSAT adds that the legal system of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is based on the rule of law and judicial independence, under the principle of “one country, two systems.” The government body also says that Lenovo has not been identified as carrying any potential risks.
Lenovo does not produce 5G network equipment, but rather PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, servers, and storage devices. Other major producers of 5G equipment and technology that have already obtained CSAT approval are Ericsson, Samsung, and Nokia, according to HotNews.
(Photo source: lenovo romania on Facebook)