UK to Make Decision on Huawei 5G Tech ‘Soon’

By Kitty Wang

The UK’s defense secretary said on Sept. 11 that the government will make a decision soon about whether to allow Huawei technology to be used in the country’s future 5G networks.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that although the decision would come “soon,” he could not give a firm date because of the pressing deadlines surrounding Brexit.

He also said that China needs to play by the rules if it wants to have access to Western markets.

During former Prime Minister Theresa May’s tenure, she was reportedly considering allowing Huawei to supply non-essential components for British 5G systems.

During a visit to the UK last week, Vice President Mike Pence warned its ally about the threat of China’s 5G systems. President Trump also talked to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about it during a G7 meeting in France last month.

The United States has said it will be forced to limit the confidential data that it shares with its allies if they use Huawei’s technology. The United States is concerned that Huawei will be used as a spying mechanism by Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has said: “All governments and businesses around the world should be concerned by Chinese influence that opens them to costly deals, future coercion, loss of technical advantage, or other malicious activity.”

Pence signed an agreement to cooperate on 5G with Poland last week. Poland’s president said that Polish intelligence had found “espionage-like behavior” related to Huawei.

Patrick Cronin, Chair for Asia-Pacific Security at the Hudson Institute said, “There’s basically a gradual awakening as to this challenge, and so, these things take time I mean this is going to be an ongoing competition and an ongoing transition.

Huawei said last week that it has obtained over 50 commercial contracts on 5G globally, and 28 of them are from Europe.