No Huawei! – Being Cyber-Security Risk, Chinese Giant Is Excluded from UK’s 5G Network

Written by | Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Huawei will be stripped out of Britain’s 5G phone networks by 2027, a date that puts Boris Johnson on collision course with a group of Conservative rebels who want the Chinese company eliminated quicker and more comprehensively. It has also been announced that no new Huawei 5G kit can be bought from 1 January 2021, which still left the rebels disappointed because older 2G, 3G and 4G kit can remain until it is no longer needed. Downing Street‘s decision represents an enforced U-turn on a previous decision to allow Huawei to supply 35% of the UK’s 5G equipment, and a compromise with BT and Vodafone, who warned there could be phone “outages” if they were forced to act sooner.
It followes the further US sanctions imposed against Huawei in May, preventing it from using microchips from American suppliers. Boris Johnson’s administration then asked the National Cyber Security Centre, part of the spy agency GCHQ, to review Huawei’s security and said its equipment could not be considered safe if it had to rely on non-US components. “The sanctions were a gamechanger,” a Whitehall official said. As a result, experts warned that these changes would delay the roll out of 5G by two to three years and cost the phone companies £2bn which could be passed on in bills to consumers. Yet, despite these negative ‚side-effects‘, conservative rebels argue Huawei represents a national security risk and want the UK to follow the US and Australia, which have implemented more complete bans.
American officials had earlier warned their UK counterparts of security concerns surrounding the Chinese company. Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to the UK has branded the British government’s decision to exclude Chinese tech giant Huawei from involvement in the UK’s future 5G network as “disappointing and wrong.” In a tweet, Liu Xiaoming stated: “It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries.” China has also threatened to make British companies pay for the ban on Huawei and hinted they could block any future trade deals with the UK.

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