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Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear

Stock MarketsJul 13, 2020 15:50
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei's new flagship store is seen ahead of tomorrow's official opening in Shanghai

By Paul Sandle and Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britain's 5G network in a landmark decision that will anger Beijing but win plaudits from President Donald Trump as the United States grapples with China's rising economic and technological clout.

The United States has pushed Johnson to reverse his January decision to grant Huawei a limited role in 5G, while London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong and by the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over coronavirus.

Britain's National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Johnson, will meet on Tuesday to discuss Huawei. Media Secretary Oliver Dowden will announce a decision to the House of Commons later in the day. The opposition Labour Party said his statement would be after 1130 GMT. The government has not provided a time.

The immediate excuse for the about turn in policy is the impact of new U.S. sanctions on chip technology, which London says affects Huawei's ability to remain a reliable supplier.

It is unclear how far Johnson will go on Tuesday. Telecoms firms already had to cap Huawei's role in 5G at 35% by 2023. Reducing it to zero over an additional two to fours years is now being discussed, although operators have warned that going too fast could delay key technology and disrupt services.

Asked about Huawei in June, Johnson said he would protect critical infrastructure from "hostile state vendors". Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said on Monday the "priority" would be national security.

The United States says Huawei, the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.

Huawei denies it spies for China and has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no U.S. company could offer the same technology at a competitive price.

NEW COLD WAR?

In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone towards Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.

Angering China just as Britain extracts itself from the European Union will put London firmly back on the side of its closest ally, the United States.

It would also mark the end of what former Prime Minister David Cameron cast as a "golden era" in ties with China.

China's ambassador to Britain has said a U-turn on Huawei would damage Britain's image and it would have to "bear the consequences" if it treated China as a hostile country.

HUAWEI BANNED?

In January, Johnson defied Trump by allowing so-called high-risk companies' involvement in 5G - including Huawei - to be capped at 35%. He excluded such companies from the sensitive 5G "core", where data is processed, as well as critical networks and locations such as nuclear and military sites.

Britain's major telecoms networks have said they need at least five years, and ideally seven, to remove Huawei.

"If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group (LON:BT) mobile customers is put into question - outages," BT CEO Philip Jansen told BBC radio on Monday.

Huawei has said the implications of the U.S. sanctions are not yet clear, and it has urged Britain to wait. The Telegraph newspaper said on Friday the government was expected to set a deadline of 2025 for removing Huawei equipment.

Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear
 

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Comments (10)
Pang Terence
Pang Terence Jul 13, 2020 16:18
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U guys have such a simple n naive thinking. Stealing IP tru hacking of computer seem like as easy as learning ABC. If it is so easy, I would like to take up the specialize course in IP stealing n hacking. It seem to be a lucrative buzz for retirement buzz.
Hans Ontits
Hans Ontits Jul 13, 2020 16:18
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who said it was easy?
TOLGA TANRIKORUR
TOLGA TANRIKORUR Jul 13, 2020 16:04
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wow i see lots of racist comments here and not surprised...rise of china and then maybe other eastern powers will not only struggle such banning restrictions but with this western supremacy bigotry also..
Hans Ontits
Hans Ontits Jul 13, 2020 9:58
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can't we just steal the tech? That's what the Chinese would do in our position, they steal trillions of dollars worth of IP every year.
aaron solo
aaron solo Jul 13, 2020 9:14
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It's Simple - USA no longer the world leader and can't handle it.
Kwong Kwong
Kwong Kwong Jul 13, 2020 9:14
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Fenvy.
Mon Sun
Mon Sun Jul 13, 2020 9:04
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- US election is around the corner
Yelen Shim
Yelen Shim Jul 13, 2020 9:04
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China should reciprocate and slam British exports like Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Bentley.. and luxury manufacturers like Burberry.
Lee Rudd
Lee Rudd Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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This is why we need to stop relying on China for manufacturing all our tech.We have plenty of empty industrial sites that could be built on to produce some quality manufacturing places. Yes, not over night but about time we stop relying in everyone else.
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Jeremy Choong
Jeremy Choong Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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U need technology, skills and knowledge of it which i dont find which company can be better than huawei for now
Yelen Shim
Yelen Shim Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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or may be the West should stop pretending it has the advantage and the superiority over the Chinese. It doesn't!
Lee Rudd
Lee Rudd Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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Mon Sun no, building factories doesnt give you 5G, but building a compkex similar to the likes of silicon valley, and other tech zones where we start manufacuring our own goods for the future is a start.Too much reliance on China.
matt shaw
matt shaw Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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China is backward, regressive, polluted, corrupt nation of thieves and liars. Of course the West is superior.
Mon Sun
Mon Sun Jul 13, 2020 9:03
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matt shaw china is a major major threat in development against the US Trump adminstration that is why trump does what its doing to china. Rubbish talks - how can a country in hightech in development be backwards
Kolawole Akintola
Kolawole Akintola Jul 13, 2020 9:01
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Knowledge brings new things and not domiciled in any block. It is a research based and commitment.Politics of dominance of technical and technology breakthrough by certain countries is retrogressive as human capacities are not limited.
Dd Vespa
Dd Vespa Jul 13, 2020 8:47
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What a worlds
Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma Jul 13, 2020 8:46
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Welcome to the real world!
 
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