Guillaume Poupard, head of the French cybersecurity agency ANSSI, was quoted by Reuters (July 6) saying there would not be a total ban on using equipment from Huawei in the rollout of the French 5G telecoms network, but that it was pushing French telcos to avoid switching to the Chinese company. He told the Los Echos newspaper “What I can say is that there won’t be a total ban, (But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.” Poupard also said, “For those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorisations for durations that vary between three and eight years”. State-controlled Orange has already chosen Huawei’s European rivals Nokia and Ericsson. Poupard added that from next week, operators which have not received an explicit authorisation to use Huawei equipment for the 5G network can consider a non-response after the legal deadline as a rejection of their requests. China's Foreign Ministry reacted promptly with its spokesman Zhao Lijian stating "We hope France can uphold an objective and fair attitude, respect market rules and the will of enterprises, make independent choices that serve its own interests, and take concrete actions to provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for all companies including Chinese ones."

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