US policymakers are reaching out to overseas markets where the Chinese telecommunications firm is looking to establish a sizeable presence to dissuade them from using its commercial infrastructure, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
The American government has contacted counterparts in a number of allied nations, including Germany, Italy and Japan, explaining what it perceives to be a cybersecurity threat. All of the countries contacted contain US military bases which use commercial networks alongside self-run infrastructure, the sources added.
The US is also weighing up financial incentives for countries that reject Chinese-made equipment, according to the sources.
“We engage with countries around the world about our concerns regarding cyberthreats in telecommunications infrastructure,” one US official said recently. “As they’re looking to move to 5G, we remind them of those concerns. There are additional complexities to 5G networks that make them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.”