By Giuseppe Fonte and Elvira Pollina
ROME (Reuters) – Italy has prevented telecoms group Fastweb from signing a deal for Huawei [HWT.UL] to supply equipment for its 5G core network, three sources close to the matter said, the clearest sign yet Rome is adopting a tougher stance against the Chinese group.
The decision, made at a cabinet meeting late on Thursday, marks the first time Italy has vetoed a supply deal over 5G core networks with Huawei.
Visiting Italy in September, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Chinese mobile telecoms technology as a threat to Italy’s national security.
Huawei strongly rejects the charges, and its Italian unit said it was ready to undergo any scrutiny to show that its technology was safe.
However at Thursday’s meeting, the government used its special vetting powers to block Fastweb, the Italian unit of Swisscom, from implementing a supply deal with the firm