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Huawei: Chinese government replies UK’s ‘groundless’ ban of 5G kit

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By Isaac Newton Tetteh –

The Chinese government has strongly opposed the UK government over  it decision to  groundlessly ban the new 5G kits from from the Chinese technology giant Huawei.Spokeswoman for Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying has announced.

She further stated Beijing would “take measures to safeguard” the “legitimate interests” of Chinese companies.

‘The UK side has used groundless risks as an excuse to co-operate with the United States violating the relevant commitments made by the UK’ Ms Hua alleged adding that any decisions and actions must come at a cost without being more specific.

The UK’s digital secretary announced on Tuesday that. the country’s telecoms networks would not be allowed to buy new Huawei 5G kit from 31 December and all such equipment should be stripped out of mobile networks by 2027

In addition, it wants BT’s Open reach and other broadband infrastructure providers to stop using Huawei’s gear in the rollout of full-fibre broadband within the next couple of years.

Mr.Liu Xiaoming Chinese Ambassoador to UK said the decision was not only disappointing, it’s also disheartening.’The way you treat Huawei will be followed very closely by other Chinese businesses’ he added

Mr. Huiyao Wang – an adviser to the Chinese government hinted that, Beijing still hoped the 2027 ban might be reversed before it came into effect, but, as things stood, it could have an impact on other Chinese investment in Britain and certainly goes against the UK tradition as the open liberal leader in free trade, the Chinese government adviser hinted.

The UK government said it had based its decision on the advice of security chiefs who had judged they could no longer mitigate the risks of using Huawei’s equipment in light of new US sanctions.

The sanctions are designed to prevent the company having its own chips manufactured, making it buy in supplies from elsewhere.

The GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre said this meant Huawei’s equipment was likely to face more “security and reliability problems” as a consequence.

Robert Hannigan, the former director of GCHQ, told BBC News the sanctions had indeed made “a critical difference”. But he did not believe any Chinese retaliation would come in the form of a hack attack

The UK accounts for  only small fraction of Huawei’s revenue, which grew 13% in the first half of the year despite earlier efforts by Washington to disrupt its business.

Announcing the ban to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said it had not been an easy decision but was the right one for UK telecoms networks, national security and the UK economy.

He said the cumulative cost, when coupled with earlier restrictions announced against Huawei, would be up to £2bn, and the total delay to 5G’s rollout would be two to three years .

5G technology promises faster internet speeds and the capacity to support more wireless devices, which should be a boom to everything from mobile gaming to higher-quality video streams. 5G connections are already available in dozens of UK cities and towns, but coverage can be sparse.

The UK last reviewed Huawei’s role in its telecoms infrastructure in January, when it  decided to let the company remain a supplier but introduced a cap on its market share.

But in May the US introduced new sanctions designed to disrupt Huawei’s ability to get its own chips manufactured.

The Trump administration claims that Huawei provides a gateway for China to spy on and potentially attack countries that use its equipment, suggestions the company strongly rejects.

The US has called for members of the Five Eyes alliance – which also includes the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – to avoid Huawei kit.

Source: BBC

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