Boris Johnson has paved the way for Huawei to have limited access to UK’s 5G network that will undoubtedly cause friction with the US.
There are serious concerns that Huawei has close links with the Chinese government and tech company’s equipment could be used for espionage as the Chinese company answers to the authorities.
Huawei vice president Victor Zhang said, “Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.
“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.
“It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.
“We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operators in the UK for more than 15 years.
“We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally.”
Baroness Morgan the culture Secretary said, “The government has reviewed the supply chain for telecoms networks and concluded today it is necessary to have tight restrictions on the presence of high risk vendors.
“This is a UK-specific solution for UK-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.
“It not only paves the way for secure and resilient networks, with our sovereignty over data protected, but it also builds on our strategy to develop a diversity of suppliers.
“We can now move forward and seize the huge opportunities of 21st-century technology.”
However, the US has warned the British government not to allow Huawei’s role in the UK due to security worries.
MPs have also expressed their concerns, with a warning that the UK will be “allowing the fox into the hen house” said Tom Tugendhat.
Beijing threatened the UK government that there could be “substantial” repercussions to trade and investment plans should Huawei been banned.
Dimitris Mavrakis, a telecoms analyst at ABI Research said, “This is a good compromise between alleviating ‘security’ concerns and making sure that the 5G UK market is not harmed.
“It means there will be minimal disruption to existing 5G rollout plans.”
Ciaran Martin, the chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre said, “The National Cyber Security Centre has issued advice to telecoms network operators to help with the industry roll-out of 5G and full fibre networks in line with the government’s objectives.
“High risk vendors have never been and never will be in our most sensitive networks.”
Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates said, “I welcome the government’s decision to allow partial involvement of Huawei’s technology in the UK’s 5G Networks. Sooner or later, the tech sector in Britain will need to learn how to effectively work with one of the largest digital economies on advanced connectivity and infrastructure, and this is the first step.
“Today’s ruling is the outcome of a long consultation process that has produced an evidence-based outcome. US policymakers may well not agree, but it points to a path forwards where Britain has confidence in its ability to assess the security implications of new technologies and set rigorous standards in response.
“The cohesive roll-out of superfast 5G networks presents an unrivalled economic opportunity and can establish the UK as a truly digital nation of early adopters – deploying 5G quickly and at scale is essential, and Huawei can play a part in supporting this.”