On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that the E.U. and U.S. cautioned Malaysia about national security and foreign investment concerns as it finalizes an assessment of its 5G deployment that might allow Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. to bid for a position in its telecoms infrastructure.
According to F.T. letters, E.U. and U.S. envoys to Malaysia wrote to the government in April after it chose to examine a decision to grant Ericsson an 11 billion ringgit ($2.5 billion) deal to create a state-owned 5G network.
Due to industry concerns over pricing, transparency, and a government-run monopoly, Malaysia’s 5G rollout has repeatedly stalled.
The authorities previously ignored U.S. security concerns, making Huawei the favorite for the deal.
“Senior officials in Washington agree with my view that upending the existing model would undermine the competitiveness of new industries, stall 5G growth in Malaysia, and harm Malaysia’s business-friendly image internationally,” U.S. ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters wrote in one of the letters.
“Allowing untrusted suppliers in any part of the network also subjects Malaysia’s infrastructure to national security risks.”
Huawei, the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the E.U. delegation, and the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Digital did not immediately reply to Reuters requests for comment.