07. December 2018 15:54 PM IS
Japan plans to ban government purchases of devices from the Chinese Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp. to strengthen its defense against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks, sources with Reuters .
Chinese tech companies are under intense scrutiny by Washington and some prominent allies over ties with the Chinese government on fears that they may be used by Beijing for espionage.
A government ban in Japan will come after Huawei has already been excluded from the US market and Australia and New Zealand have blocked the construction of 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly insisted that Beijing has no influence.
Yomiuri newspaper, which first reported the news of Japan's proposed ban on Friday, said the government would revise its internal procurement rules Monday.
The government does not specifically plan to call Huawei and ZTE in the overhaul, but will introduce measures to strengthen security that apply to businesses, said a person with direct knowledge and a person who had dealt with the matter.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga declined to comment. However, he noted that the country was in close contact with the United States in a wide range of areas, including cybersecurity.
"Cybersecurity is becoming an important issue in Japan," he said at a news conference. "We will take concrete action to look at it from different perspectives."
ZTE declined to comment. Huawei did not comment immediately.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed "grave concern" over the reports.
The essence of the Sino-Japanese economy and economic cooperation is mutual benefit and win-win situation, and both companies are lawful. He has been working in Japan for a long time and reported daily on the news in Beijing.
"We hope that the Japanese side offers a fair competitive environment to Chinese companies operating in Japan and does nothing to compromise bilateral cooperation and mutual trust. "
Huawei Serves Private Japanese Telecommunication Companies NTT Docomo and KDDI Corp. with network devices.
And SoftBank Group Corp has a long business relationship with Huawei, which in 2011 became the first Chinese company to join the conservative Keidanren Business Lobby in Japan, has joined forces with him in 5G studies.
"The government will not buy where security concerns exist, but it is difficult to restrict private-sector procurement. One of the sources said.
Docomo and SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"If we closely monitor the changes, we will consider appropriate steps," said a KDDI spokeswoman. Some private companies elsewhere, However, they have distanced themselves from the Chinese companies.
In the United States, SoftBank's wireless subsidiary Sprint Corp announced that it no longer purchases Huawei or ZTE devices. SoftBank seeks to complete the sale of the unit to T-Mobile US Inc.  British BT Group announced Wednesday that it would remove Huawei's equipment from the core of the existing 3G and 4G mobile business and would not deploy the company in central parts of the next network.
ZTE's Shenzhen-listed shares rose 0.5 percent on Friday after plummeting 5.7 percent the day before, as stock sales worldwide plummeted with the arrest of Huawei's top executives at the instigation of the United States in Canada. Huawei is not listed.