Technology

Britain does not support total Huawei network ban – sources

British security officials do not support a full ban of Huawei from national telecoms networks despite U.S. allegations the Chinese firm and its products could be used by Beijing for spying, people with knowledge of the matter said. Sarah Charlton reports.

Huawei might finally catch a break in the West.

Sources told Reuters Monday (February 18) that the UK has concluded there’s no need to ban the Chinese telecoms firm from building phone networks there.

Confirmation would come as a relief to Huawei, which faces allegations that it colludes with Chinese spies.

It’s already shut out of public contracts in the US, and Washington has been pushing allies to follow suit.

Australia, New Zealand and Japan have effectively banned the company. Several European countries are considering action.

Meanwhile European mobile operators including BT and Orange are taking steps to limit or end the use of Huawei equipment.

But a favourable UK ruling could sway opinion. The country’s intelligence agencies are widely respected, and have close links to U.S. spies.

Now, sources say the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre will take a nuanced approach.

A source put it this way to Reuters: “We don’t favour a complete ban. It’s not that simple”.

Huawei is accused of leaving so-called ‘back doors’ in its equipment, allowing access to Chinese spies. It firmly denies all such allegations.

The latest reports come as countries around the world start planning for next-generation mobile phone services. So-called 5G networks will allow massive increases in mobile data.

Building the infrastructure will cost billions, and Huawei, as market leader, wants a big part of that.

On Monday, the UK prime minister’s office said a review of 5G security measures was ongoing.

A report from the Cyber Security Centre due in the coming weeks.


Associated Links

  • Huawei Tech
  • ThomsonReuters
  • Telecommunications
  • Huawei

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