Sweden’s largest airport, Arlanda, has contracted a Chinese company to provide security screening that allegedly has close links to the Chinese military and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The Chinese company Nuctech has won a procurement from the Swedish state-owned company Swedavia, which owns and runs Arlanda airport, to provide security screening for the airport’s Terminal 5, which is set to be modernised by May of next year.
Swedavia’s press officer Peter Wärring stated that the contract with Nuchtech had been signed last Friday and Nuchtech is expected to manage state-of-the-art X-ray scanning technology to examine baggage at the airport, newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
Annika Balazs, Head of Strategic Purchasing at Swedavia, claimed that Nuctech won the contract as they “simply made the best offer” but others have criticised Nuctech and cited security concerns, with the United States adding the company to its Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List.
Huawei Director on Trial for China Espionage in Poland https://t.co/JmZ4I4I5o7
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Bart Groothuis, the former director of cybersecurity at the Dutch Ministry of Defense who now serves as a member of the European Parliament, commented on potential security risks, saying: “The data being processed by these devices is very sensitive. It’s personal data, military data, cargo data. It might be trade secrets at stake.”
“You’re dependent on a foreign actor which is a geopolitical adversary and strategic rival,” Groothuis added.
Other governments have also been critical of Nuctech, including Canada, which determined in 2020 that the company’s scanning devices could be used to collect and obtain data from electronic devices and allow items to pass which may be prohibited.
It has also been claimed that Nuctech has engaged in unfair business practices by undercutting competitors due to subsidies it receives from the Chinese Communist Party, which has allowed it to make bids 30 to 50 per cent lower than other companies.
Swedavia replied to questions over the Nuctech contract from broadcaster SVT saying, “The equipment from Nuctech is approved by ECAC, which is by the responsible authority for the approval of audit equipment within Europe. As regards the agreement, we have complied with applicable procurement legislation and the procurement also complies with the rules according to the Swedish Security Protection Act. Swedavia will sign a security protection agreement with the supplier.”
Europe’s security could be under threat as security scanners in sensitive spots were revealed Thursday to have been manufactured by a Chinese Communist Party-backed company. https://t.co/g4sLdwTm4T
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