MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States is looking to develop a partnership with the telecoms industry to provide alternatives to China’s Huawei Technologies, a senior White House official said on Friday.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Robert Blair, White House special representative for international telecommunications policy, said a partnership was “very different from buying shares with taxpayers’ money.”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has previously proposed that the United States consider taking control of two major foreign rivals of Huawei, although the White House later dismissed the suggestion.

Blair also said Britain needed to take a “hard look” at its decision to use equipment made by Huawei, which officials in Washington say is a security risk, charges the company denies.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Jack Stubbs, editing by Paul Carrel

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