Brazilian telecoms snub U.S. official over Huawei 5G pressure -media

BRASILIA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Brazil’s top four telecom companies have decide not to meet with a visiting senior U.S. official who has advocated excluding China’s Huawei Technologies Co from the Brazilian 5G equipment market, two local newspapers reported on Friday.

The carriers rejected undue pressure in declining a U.S. embassy invitation to meet on Monday in Sao Paulo with Keith Krach, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, unnamed industry sources told the newspapers.

Telefonica Brasil SA, Grupo Oi SA, TIM Participações SA, controlled by Telecom Italia SpA and Claro, owned by Mexico’s America Movil SAB de CV , each control between 19% and 29% of Brazil’s wireless market.

They already use Huawei equipment in preparation for the auctioning of spectrum concessions next year in Brazil and do not support a ban on Huawei sought by the U.S. government.

Folha de S.Paulo first reported the invitation extended by U.S. ambassador Todd Chapman, and with Valor Economico both newspaper reported that the companies preferred not to attend.

The U.S. embassy did not immediately reply to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Oi declined to comment.

The Trump administration has stepped up efforts to convince Brazilian carriers not buy Huawei equipment, alleging the Chinese company reports to China’s Communist government and is a security risk that threatens the privacy of wireless users worldwide. It has offered to finance the purchase of 5G equipment from Western companies such as Nokia and Ericsson.

“Huawei is the backbone of China’s global surveillance,” Krach wrote in an op/ed article published in August by Brazil’s O Globo newspaper.

Krach said the U.S. government and its partners were accelerating efforts to protect global economic security by restricting the involvement of Huawei in 5G networks.

“There are now more than 30 countries participating in the Clean Network,” he wrote. (Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio)