"I Did This Myself": Donald Trump On UK's Huawei Ban

Yolanda Curtis
July 16, 2020

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"From the end of this year, telecoms providers must not buy any 5G equipment from Huawei", he told lawmakers. The companies must also get rid of all of their existing Huawei 5G kits by 2027.

Now, as Britain prepares to cast off from the European Union, Johnson will risk the ire of the world's second-largest economy by ordering a purge of Huawei equipment which the USA says could be used to spy on the West.

The British review was triggered by new United States sanctions in May that blocked Huawei's access to U.S. chips and semi-conductors at the heart of 5G networks.

The decision comes after relations between the United Kingdom and China declined sharply over China's actions in Hong Kong, and in the face of a potential rebellion by parliamentarians from the U.K.'s ruling Conservative party who are concerned about the security implications of Chinese involvement in the 5G rollout.

On Tuesday, Huawei reported its revenue grew 13.1% in the first half of 2020 compared with a year earlier despite US pressure and the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said Washington told other governments to avoid Huawei "if they want to do business with us". Britain's digital minister Oliver Dowden announced the move in parliament, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired meetings with his Cabinet and the National Security Council.

Other countries including Australia, New Zealand and India have already taken a hard line against Huawei, and France and Italy have announced severe limits on its gear for 5G networks.

"Today's decision is as much driven by trade and USA trade policy, United States concerns around falling behind in technology".

She said the move was driven by political reasoning and not by national security concerns as she also said Beijing will act to safeguard its interests in the wake of the U-turn. As part of those sanctions, companies around the world were blocked from using US -made software or machinery to design Huawei equipment.

The US has also requested the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges, worsening relations between China and Canada, where she is now under house arrest.

"By the time of the next election, we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks".

He said the move would delay the country's 5G rollout by a year and the cumulative cost, when coupled with earlier restrictions announced against Huawei, would be up to £2bn.

US lawmakers also have raised security concerns over TikTok's handling of user data, citing Chinese laws that require domestic companies "to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party".

The NCSC's technical director Ian Levy said products adapted to cope with the restrictions "are likely to suffer more security and reliability problems because of the massive engineering challenge ahead of them".

Many politicians and security experts believe that Huawei is a secret surveillance vehicle for the Chinese government - a position the company has always denied - and therefore untrustworthy.

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