Boris Johnson Approves Huawei 5G Infrastructure Build in the UK
Prime Minister give green light for tech roll out with help of Chinese firm
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given the green light for the Chinese tech firm Huawei to build its 5G infrastructure in the UK with restrictions.
But the Chinese firm will be prohibited from supplying kit to "sensitive parts" of the "core" network, according to reports.
Additionally, it will only be allowed to account for 35% of the kit in a network's periphery, including radio masts.
It will also be excluded from areas near military bases and nuclear sites.
The firm's UK chief Victor Zhang said in a statement.
"Huawei is reassured by the UK government's confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track."
"It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market."
But Johnson faced pressure from President Donald Trump to block the Chinese tech giant due to national security concerns.
Last year, Trump prohibited US telecom firms from using equipment produced by telecom companies that pose a “national security risk,” like Huawei.
According to The Finacial Times report last year: The White House said the order declared a “national emergency” in relation to threats against US telecommunications and authorized the US commerce secretary to “prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk” to national security.
“This action stems from information available to the [commerce] department that provides a reasonable basis to conclude that Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to US national security or foreign policy interest,” the commerce department said in a statement.
PM Boris Johnson remembers persecuted Christians in Christmas message— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) December 24, 2019
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Johnson said before the decision:
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have technological progress here in the U.K., allow consumers, businesses in the U.K. to have access to fantastic technology, fantastic communications, but also protect our security interests and protect our key partnerships with other security powers around the world."
The infrastructure program is seen as necessary to Britain’s economic future post Brexit, but also risks alienating its US allies.
CNN reported that three members of the US Senate, which plays a role in approving trade deals, made the stakes clear in a letter to Johnson on Monday.
Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and John Cornyn told Johnson that while they did not want to "threaten" a free trade deal or to review how the countries share intelligence, the facts on Huawei "are clear."
"We hope that your government will make the right decision and reject Huawei's inclusion in its 5G infrastructure," the Republican senators wrote.