Why London could harden its stance on HuaweiZDNet

Royaume%20Uni%20A  w630 - Why London could harden its stance on HuaweiZDNet

The British government is currently examining the feasibility of bringing forward the deadline for the withdrawal of Huawei equipment from 5G networks across the Channel. For British elected officials, if pressure from the allies continues and if relations with China run out of steam, such a scenario is starting to be more and more possible. As a reminder, British operators currently have until 2027 to remove the Chinese manufacturer's equipment from their 5G networks.

While a parliamentary report on the security of 5G networks has long supported this deadline, it nonetheless acknowledged that certain "developments" could potentially necessitate the postponement of this date to 2025, which, according to him, "could be considered economically feasible ”. And could be made more urgent by the American embargo decreed by Washington on the use of Huawei equipment, which suspects the manufacturer of connections with the Chinese regime. While Huawei still denies these allegations, that hasn't stopped the Trump administration from stepping up sanctions against it.

The UK's stance on Huawei – a partner of many local operators for nearly two decades – has changed and hardened in recent months. In January 2019, the British government said it would allow Huawei to supply certain equipment for the country's 5G networks. His position subsequently stiffened sharply.

A moving position

When the US sanctions against Huawei started to bite Huawei, the UK indeed changed its position. In July 2020, the government asked telecoms operators to stop purchasing 5G equipment from the Chinese company from 2021, and to remove all Huawei technology from their 5G networks by 2027.

The recently released commission report notes that the government has come under pressure to remove Huawei from its list of approved manufacturers by 2027. It says such a move could lead to signal cuts, significantly delay the rollout of 5G and be costly. operators and the economy.

“If pressure from allies for faster change were to continue or if China's threats and global position were to change so significantly as to justify it, the government should, however, consider whether change by 2025 is feasible and economically viable, ”concede the authors of this report. The government should take measures to minimize delays and economic damage and consider compensating operators if the deadline of 2027 is brought forward, the deputies nevertheless recall.

Turn to other OEMs

Without taking a pinch of salt, the British MPs' report says Huawei has strong ties to the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party. According to its authors, "the fact that a company is so closely tied to a state and political organization, sometimes at odds with UK interests, should be a point of concern, and the decision to remove Huawei from our networks is supported by these links ”. Response from Huawei: "This report lacks credibility because it is based on opinions rather than facts." Close the ban.

For British MPs, if the withdrawal of Huawei-branded equipment is the right solution, it nevertheless creates other problems due to the limited number of 5G providers. The government should work with mobile network operators to bring new suppliers to the UK, for example Samsung, Nokia or Ericsson, and encourage the development of industrial capacity in the country.

For the chairman of the defense committee, Tobias Ellwood, the Western states must unite urgently to counterbalance the technological domination of China. “As every aspect of our lives becomes increasingly dependent on access to the movement of data, we must develop a feasible, practical and cost-effective alternative to the low-cost high-tech solutions that may fall prey to and come with conditions which trap a state in a long-term allegiance to China ”, explains the British deputy. "We must not abandon our national security for the benefit of short-term technological development," said the latter, opening the door to a hardening of the British position vis-à-vis the Chinese technological giants.

Source: ZDNet.com

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