Mobile Devices

Post US presidential election, Huawei asks UK to rethink 5G ban

17 November 2020

Chinese smartphone and communications equipment maker Huawei is lobbying the U.K. government to change direction on its 5G ban after the U.S. presential election.

In July, after originally stating it would allow “high-risk” vendors to place bids on non-critical areas of its 5G infrastructure, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered communication suppliers in the country to stop using Huawei equipment and remove equipment already installed in England’s 5G network by 2027.

The U.K. government was following a move by the Trump Administration that signed an executive order preventing companies in the U.S. from working with the Chinese equipment maker for 5G unless they passed several hurdles including getting a specialized license.

The executive order from the Trump Administration was issued because it believed that equipment from Huawei may be a threat to national security due to the alleged ties the company has to the Chinese government. The Trump Administration believes that the equipment may be used to spy on consumers or national interests. The order also recommended that allies of the U.S. government should also blacklist Huawei, with Australia and New Zealand following suit. However, many European countries, including Germany, have not agreed and vowed to determine independently whether to use Huawei or not.

Huawei told The Guardian in the post-Trump era, the U.K. should reconsider using Huawei as an equipment supplier for 5G or risk falling behind 5G technological development.

Victor Zhang, vice president of Huawei, said the decision to not use its 5G equipment could have a significant impact on England’s economy with gaps in deployment seen in the north and south of the country that could create an economic imbalance.

Zhang said the north of the U.K. is falling behind London and the southeast of the country and won’t make its commitment to fast broadband for the entire country by 2025 unless it changes course.

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