Brazilian vice-president Hamilton Mourao on Friday told journalists that the government will not exclude Chinese telecoms company Huawei from operating a fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecoms network in Latin America’s largest economy.
The United States has asked countries to reject Huawei technology in the development of new mobile phone networks, arguing that it could be vulnerable to Chinese eavesdropping. Huawei denies its equipment is a security risk.
US President Donald Trump raised the issue with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a White House visit in March.
But Mourao, who met Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei on a trip to China last month, said Brazil had no plans to bar Huawei when it launched its 5G network next year.
Huawei has already been locked out of the US market. Australia and New Zealand also blocked it from building 5G networks. Japan’s government said last year it would ban government purchases of equipment from the Chinese company.
Mourao told Valor Economico newspaper that there was no distrust of the Chinese company within the Brazilian government and that Brazil needed the technology it had to offer.
Wireless carrier TIM Participacoes announced this month that it was using Huawei technology to conduct 5G network tests in southern Brazil.
Huawei also relaunched its smartphone business in Brazil recently after a false start in 2014 and now plans to manufacture phones in the country.
Facebook suspends app pre-installs on new Huawei phones as US trade blacklist effects begin to ripple
The company said on Friday that it was taking the lead in the global 5G market and had secured 46 commercial contracts in 30 countries.