On July 15th, 2020, Britain’s government took a decision to ban Huawei from 5G trials in the country over security risks involved. The British decision to remove Huawei was announced in the House of Commons by Britain digital and media minister, Oliver Dowden. The decision will mean that rollout of 5G services in Britain will be delayed by two to three years.
The British announcement is very significant that governments the world over are ready to face losses in order to stop China from gaining foothold in their country. Huawei is accused of close ties with the Chinese Communist Government and is also said to part of its electronic surveillance network. The US, especially President Trump, has warned all allies to desist from allowing the Chinese company in 5G trials which could be detrimental to the countries digital assets.
Britain has also cited China’s crackdown on Hong Kong pro-Democracy activists and Beijing’s lack of transparency on the origins of the coronavirus as the reasons for banning Huawei.
With this decision, Britain will phase out all Huawei 5G equipment installed in recent months and has also mandated that private providers should remove or replace Huawei gear over the next few years.
Italy to ban Huawei soon
Close on the move of Britain banning Huawei, the Italian government is said to be contemplating the same over similar concerns. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Italy is considering whether to exclude Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies from building its 5G network. The Rueters report said that it is being considered at government level as the Italian government is preparing a change of course as are many of its European partners.
Last year, parliamentary security committee Copasir said Italy should consider blocking Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE from taking part in development of 5G networks. The Italian government is said to be considering the suggestion of Copasir seriously along with emerging concerns over China’s continued spying and attempts to create unrest in other countries using the digital assets and equipment of its companies.
World Boycotts China
The United States has effectively banned Huawei and other Chinese companies from participating in its 5G trials over allegations of spying for the CCP. The Trump administration has also persuaded its allies to follow suit.
In May, the United States imposed an export control that cut Huawei off from a key source of semiconductors made with U.S. technology. It is said that this US move further inspired Britain’s to stop Huawei in the country.
Apart from Britain, 27 other European governments have agreed to a common approach to mitigate 5G security risks. However, each country is free to implement 5G in their own way. Countries like France and Netherlands have passed laws that allow the government to veto a private carrier’s choice of a 5G provider. Belgium has already banned “high risk” vendors like Huawei and ZTE in their core network and has capped their presence at 35 percent in the periphery.
Japan and South Korea have made rules that effectively exclude Chinese companies from being part of 5G. In Israel, no Chinese companies have been part of their 3G and 4G platforms and they will be kept out of 5G as well.