Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis signed a bill on Friday that effectively bars China and Huawei from taking part in the development of its 5G telecom networks, on security concerns.
Prime Minister Florin Citu has already approved in April a ban on Chinese-controlled firms, and parliament subsequently rubber-stamped it.
Huawei’s European competitors, Ericsson and Nokia, could become a supplier duopoly should the Chinese be shut out.
The bill stems from a 2019 U.S.-Romania memorandum under which the two governments had said: “as part of a risk-based security approach, careful and complete evaluation of 5G vendors is necessary,” with those controlled by a foreign government and lacking a transparent ownership structure ruled out.
Washington sees Huawei as an arm of China’s Communist Party’s global surveillance machinery. Huawei has repeatedly denied spying for the Chinese state.