Despite intense pressure from the US, it looks like the UK has decided Huawei isn’t sufficiently dangerous to warrant a total ban.
Reuters reported Thursday that UK officials are proposing allowing Huawei to build limited amounts of the UK’s 5G infrastructure, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The proposal will be put forward at a meeting of the UK National Security Council next week, the sources said.
The US has been aggressively lobbying the UK and other allies to freeze Huawei out completely from their 5G networks for well over a year , although the last month saw a fresh push from Washington officials to get the UK onside.
The Trump administration maintains that Huawei abets Chinese government spying, and has threatened to limit its intelligence-sharing relationship with any country that allows Huawei to build its 5G infrastructure. UK officials have signalled that they are not worried by this development .
Last year under Prime Minister Theresa May a similar proposal was made , the idea being to ban Huawei from building “core” 5G equipment, but the final decision was postponed . “The technical and policy guidance hasn’t changed… Now it is down to a political calculation,” one source told Reuters.
A spokesman for the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport told Business Insider: “The security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance. The Government continues to consider its position on high-risk vendors and a decision will be made in due course.” Huawei declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
In March last year UK security officials vetted Huawei, and while they criticized its equipment for having “major [security] defects,” they concluded this was the product of poor engineering rather than state interference.
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