US presses British officials to block Huawei from 5G network



US officials want their UK counterparts to exclude Huawei equipment from its next-generation 5G network.

Arne Dedert/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

US officials were in London on Monday in a last-ditch effort to persuade British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government not to allow Huawei equipment to be used on its 5G network.

The delegation argued that there was no way the UK could reduce the security risks posed by Huawei having access to the network, Bloomberg reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the meeting.

Huawei is the world’s second-largest phone manufacturer by volume, but it has struggled to make a dent in the US, partly because of concerns expressed by the government, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Federal Communications Commission and House Intelligence Committee. The US has long alleged that Huawei maintains a tight relationship with the Chinese government, creating fear that equipment from these manufacturers could be used to spy on other countries and companies.

Johnson is reportedly ready to follow predecessor Theresa May‘s lead and give the controversial Chinese telecom access to “non-contentious” parts of the UK’s next-generation wireless infrastructure. That move would run contrary to the position of US President Donald Trump, who banned Huawei because of its alleged links to the Chinese government.

Johnson’s government has determined that some of Huawei’s technology isn’t available in the West, so Britain’s next-generation wireless infrastructure could be left behind if it doesn’t do business with the Chinese company. Britain is expected to make a decision about whether to include the Chinese company’s equipment in the network later this month.

Huawei representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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