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Huawei confident it’ll be part of UK’s 5G network despite US pressure

by ace
Huawei confident it'll be part of UK's 5G network despite US pressure

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is confident the government will grant approval to be part of the UK's 5G network if it remains committed to an "evidence-based" approach to the problem.

Sky News understands that the company believes it has responded to security concerns about its technology and that any decision to stop them from the UK market would be purely political.

In a statement, Huawei welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's comments in which he seemed to distance himself from US allegations that it would be "crazy" to allow the telecommunications provider to provide equipment for UK networks.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei speaks during a session of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 22, 2015 in Davos. Photo AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should be FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images)
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said earlier that he would rather close the company than participate in any spying on behalf of the Chinese state.

An American delegation, led by Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, traveled to the UK on Monday to pressure authorities against allowing Huawei equipment on the emerging 5G network.

US sources said the delegation had provided fresh information indicating that it would be more difficult to mitigate any security risk, but did not disclose what the information was.

They also said "the president was watching" and the US would have to consider sharing information with countries using Huawei equipment.

The visit came when outgoing MI5 chief Andrew Parker said there was "no reason" to think that UK intelligence-sharing deals with the US would be at risk.

Later this month, the government should make a final decision whether to allow Vodafone, EE, BT and Three network providers to deploy Huawei 5G equipment.

Huawei is one of only four global 5G equipment suppliers, alongside Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE.

Huawei boss: 'UK won't say no to us' in the 5G deployment

The company has been providing UK 3G networks with 3G and 4G technology since 2005 and any decision to block them may require companies to replace existing infrastructure.

The US has argued for more than a year that Huawei poses a national security risk because of possible "backdoors" in its systems that can be controlled from Beijing, and has pushed its allies to block them.

The company believes it has become a victim of US tensions with China and that the real motivation is commercial and strategic, not based on real security concerns.

Huawei rejected US claims as "unfounded" and claimed to have faith in the UK government's decision-making process.

Huawei's next-generation 5G test lab.

Inside Huawei's large campus

Victor Zhang, Huawei's vice president, said: "We firmly agree with the prime minister that 'the British public deserves to have access to the best possible technology'.

"That's why we invested over $ 15 billion last year in research and development to make sure our customers get just that.

"Huawei has worked with UK telecommunications companies for 15 years and looks forward to providing the best technologies that help companies like BT and Vodafone deliver on the government's commitment to make gigabit broadband available to everyone.

"We are confident that the UK government will make an evidence-based decision as opposed to unsubstantiated allegations.

"Two UK parliamentary committees have concluded that there is no technical reason to prohibit us from providing 5G equipment."

If Huawei is released for use in UK 5G networks, it is expected to be restricted to "non-essential" elements of mobile networks.

These include the masts and base stations that give access to networks, as opposed to the areas in which personal information is stored.

A decision is expected by the end of the month, with the National Security Committee likely to meet first to provide final approval.


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