UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said he has “very deep concerns” about Huawei being involved in upgrading the UK’s mobile network.
Williamson told The Times: “I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It’s something we’d have to look at very closely.” Australia, New Zealand and the US have restricted use of Huawei technology in 5G mobile networks, and Williamson said the UK would look at their example. “We’ve got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way,” he added.
The firm has rejected any suggestion that it poses a security threat, saying it has “never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks”.
BT has already said it is removing Huawei equipment from its 3G and 4G networks, and pledged not to use the firm’s products in the “core” of its 5G service.
Reuters is reporting that in the US the White House is contemplating an Executive Order to bar Huawei and ZTE from the networks.
Despite these challenges the chairman Guo Ping told staff in a New Year address that Huawei expects a 21 per cent lift in sales in 2019 and that is it has already secured 25 5G contracts and was the world’s largest 5G vendor.