China Condemns Canada’s ‘Groundless’ Huawei 5G Ban

The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer's hand in London on July 14, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China's Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer’s hand in London on July 14, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

 

 

China on Friday hit out at Ottawa for blocking Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian 5G networks, describing the ban as “groundless” ban and based on spurious security risks.

Canada’s long-awaited move follows the United States and other key allies, and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on a US warrant, which has now been resolved.

“China is firmly opposed to this,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters of the 5G block, adding Beijing would “take all necessary measures” to protect Chinese companies.

“This move runs counter to market economy principles and free trade rules,” he added.

Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the announcement on Thursday, citing their “intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunication systems.”

The United States has warned of the security implications of giving Chinese tech companies access to telecommunications infrastructure that could be used for state espionage.

Both Huawei and Beijing have rejected the allegations, while Beijing warned of repercussions for nations placing restrictions on the telecoms equipment provider.

Wang on Friday accused the Canadian government of “seriously damaging the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

Canada Bans Huawei And ZTE From 5G Networks

This file photo taken on May 31, 2021 shows a Huawei logo at the flagship store in Shenzhen, in China's southern Guangdong province. STR / AFP
This file photo taken on May 31, 2021 shows a Huawei logo at the flagship store in Shenzhen, in China’s southern Guangdong province. STR / AFP

 

Canada will ban Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G wireless networks due to national security concerns, officials said Thursday.

The long-awaited move follows the United States and other key allies, and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on a US warrant, which has now been resolved.

The United States has warned of the security implications of giving Chinese tech companies access to telecommunications infrastructure that could be used for state espionage.

READ ALSO: China Condemns Canada’s ‘Groundless’ Huawei 5G Ban

Both Huawei and Beijing have rejected the allegations, while Beijing warned of repercussions for nations placing restrictions on the telecoms equipment provider.

The company did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on Canada’s ban.

Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement at a news conference.

“Today, we’re announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunication systems,” Champagne said.

“This follows a full review by our security agencies and in consultation with our closest allies.”

Canada had been reviewing the 5G technology and network access for several years, repeatedly delaying a decision that was first expected in 2019.

It remained silent on the telecoms issue after China jailed two Canadians — diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor — in what observers believed was in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wangzhou in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of the United States.

All three were released in September 2021 after Meng reached a deal with US prosecutors on the fraud charges, ending her extradition fight.

Champagne said Canadian telecommunications companies “will not be permitted to include in their networks products or services that put our national security at risk.”

“Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it,” he said.

‘Hostile actors’

Huawei already supplies some Canadian telecommunications firms with 4G equipment.

Most, if not all, had held off using Huawei in their fifth-generation (5G) wirelesss networks that deliver speedier online connections with greater data capacity, or looked to other suppliers while Ottawa hemmed and hawed.

Mendicino said 5G innovation “represents a major opportunity for competition and growth” but “also comes risks.”

“There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities” in telecom networks, he said.

The United States, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Japan and Sweden have already blocked or restricted the use of Huawei technology in their 5G networks.

The US government considers Huawei a potential security threat due to the background of its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese army engineer who is Meng’s father.

The concern escalated as Huawei rose to become the world leader in telecoms networking equipment and one of the top smartphone manufacturers, and following Beijing’s passage of a 2017 law obliging Chinese companies to assist the government in matters of national security.

Canada’s two spy agencies had reportedly been divided initially over whether or not to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks — one favouring a ban while the other argued risks could be mitigated.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment had been tasked with conducting a cybersecurity review to evaluate the risks as well as the economic costs to Canadian telecoms and consumers of blacklisting the equipment supplier.

Huawei was already prohibited from bidding on Canadian government contracts and core network equipment such as routers and switches.

Huawei Sells Off ‘Honor’ Brand As Pressure Bites

Smartphone Huawei Honor 20 lite

 

Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced Tuesday it has sold its Honor budget phone line to a domestic consortium in a move it said was necessary to keep the brand alive amid “tremendous” supply chain pressures caused by US sanctions.

Honor has been purchased by a group of 40 companies comprised of agents, distributors and other businesses dependent on the brand’s survival, Huawei and the consortium said in separate statements.

Huawei, which earlier this year became the world’s top mobile phone seller, said its consumer business “has been under tremendous pressure” due to a growing inability to acquire components as the US seeks to cut the company off from the global supply chain.

The sale appears aimed at getting Honor out from under the Huawei umbrella, thereby allowing the brand to source components without being affected by the US sanctions.

“This sale will help Honor’s channel sellers and suppliers make it through this difficult time,” said Huawei, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

The sale is the latest sign that Huawei — also the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications networking equipment — is being squeezed hard by the US campaign against it.

The administration of President Trump alleges that Huawei has close ties to China’s government and military and that the equipment it has installed globally could be used by Beijing for espionage.

Both China’s government and the company deny the accusation and say that the United States has never produced any evidence backing up its allegations.

Washington has taken steps to bar Huawei from the US market and prevent US companies doing business with it, has moved to cut off its access to global supplies of semiconductors and other components, and pressured other countries to shun Huawei telecom gear.

Huawei officials have said the attacks are motivated more by a US desire to bring down a successful business rival.

‘Saving’ Honor

The sale of Honor — whose shipments were included in Huawei’s overall totals — looks certain to weigh Huawei down in the race with Samsung and Apple to lead world mobile phone sales.

Huawei overtook Samsung as the world’s largest mobile phone seller in the second quarter of this year, only to drop back to number two in the third quarter, followed by Apple.

Honor is a line aimed primarily at younger or more budget-conscious buyers and contributes more than 70 million phone sales annually to Huawei’s overall totals, according to Huawei.

Huawei sold 51.9 million handsets in the third quarter, according to industry trackers IDC.

“This acquisition represents a market-driven investment made to save Honor’s industry chain,” said the consortium of buyers, Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co.

“It is the best solution to protect the interests of Honor’s consumers, channel sellers, suppliers, partners, and employees.”

The buyers include a handful of listed companies, most notably Chinese retail giant Suning.com Group.

Huawei said it will no longer “hold any shares or be involved in any business management or decision-making activities in the new Honor company”.

In recent weeks, Huawei reported unusually slow revenue growth for the first nine months of the year and Sweden joined the list of European countries banning the use of the company’s equipment, though a Swedish court subsequently suspended the ban pending a legal review.

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has meanwhile suffered a series of legal setbacks in her fight against extradition from Canada to the United States.

Meng was arrested in 2018 on a warrant issued by the United States, where she is wanted on fraud charges related to Huawei violations of US sanctions on Iran.

Her extradition hearings are expected to wrap up in April 2021.

Canada Resumes Hearings On Extradition Of Huawei Exec

Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, arrives at British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on November 16, 2020. – Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou appeared for a new round of extradition hearings November 16 in Vancouver, as the two-year anniversary of her arrest by Canadian authorities approaches. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)

 

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou finished the first day of a new round of extradition hearings Monday in Vancouver, as the two-year anniversary of her arrest by Canadian authorities approaches.

Meng, chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant, has been fighting extradition to the United States, where she faces fraud and conspiracy charges related to alleged violations by Huawei of US sanctions on Iran.

Her December 2018 Vancouver arrest plunged Canada-China relations into crisis.

Days later, two Canadians were detained in China, accused by Beijing of espionage in what Ottawa has insisted was a retaliatory move, but which Beijing says was unrelated, while insisting Meng has violated no laws.

Over the next two weeks, Meng’s lawyers will continue their cross-examination of law enforcement involved in her detention.

Monday’s first witness was Bryce McRae, a superintendent at the Canada Border Services Agency who was involved in Meng’s detention at Vancouver airport.

Meng’s lawyers contend that Canada violated her rights when she was detained, searched and interrogated for hours.

Meng has argued, moreover, that US President Donald Trump “poisoned” her chances for a fair hearing by suggesting that he might intervene in the case, but Canada’s attorney general will argue that the court should block some of that evidence.

Meng’s lawyer has accused Canadian border officers of colluding with federal police to obtain her electronic device passcodes, and one officer admitted he unintentionally gave them over by “mistake.”

But now a key witness in that exchange — since-retired officer Ben Chang, who other officers have indicated passed Meng’s digital info to the FBI — has refused to testify, according to Meng’s defense lawyer Richard Peck.

“There may be a number of consequences from his refusal to testify,” Peck said Monday in court, adding that Chang’s absence was concerning.

Chang has denied he shared the data with the FBI, and the email in question was permanently deleted upon his retirement.

‘More closed off’

Sanjit Dhillon, a Canadian customs official present at the time of Meng’s arrest, said Monday that she had asked “repeatedly” why the interrogation was taking so long.

He intervened and then questioned her about why Huawei was not allowed to sell its products in the US.

While she had been “calm and open” at the start of the interview, his questions about allegations that the company was spying for China made her “more closed off,” Dhillon said.

Meng’s lawyer accused Canadian authorities of colluding with the FBI during her interrogation, during which they allegedly tried to gather information about her.

Another customs officer called to testify admitted at a hearing last month that he had given Canadian federal police the passwords to Meng’s electronic devices after her interrogation, though he said it was a mistake.

Canada has consistently denied the abuse of Meng’s rights.

The US has accused Meng — currently under house arrest — of hiding Huawei’s relationship with former subsidiary Skycom to evade US sanctions on Iran, which she denies.

The Trump administration argues Huawei has ties to China’s Communist Party and that its new 5G mobile technology could be used for espionage. It has urged other countries to cut ties with the company.

The extradition case is scheduled to wrap up in April 2021.

 

 

 

-AFP

Barcelona’s Griezmann Cuts Huawei Ties Over Uighurs Surveillance Claims

(COMBO) This combination of files pictures created on December 10, 2020 shows France’s forward Antoine Griezmann (L) on October 11, 2019 in Reykjavik and the logo of Chinese company Huawei in London on July 14, 2020.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS, Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

 

 

Barcelona’s World Cup-winning footballer Antoine Griezmann said Thursday he was ending a commercial deal with Huawei over reports the Chinese telecoms giant was involved in the surveillance of Uighur Muslims.

Frenchman Griezmann said on Instagram that following “strong suspicions that Huawei has contributed to the development of a ‘Uighurs alert’ through the use of facial recognition software, I am immediately ending my partnership with the company.”

He called on Huawei to “not just deny these accusations but to take concrete action as quickly as possible to condemn this mass repression… and to use its influence to contribute to the respect of human rights”.

US-based surveillance research firm IPVM said in a report Tuesday that Huawei had been involved in testing facial recognition software in China that could send alerts to police when it recognised Uighur minorities’ faces.

Huawei, earlier this year became the world’s top mobile phone seller, denied the claims.

 

RELATED: China Accused Of Using Big Data To Select Muslims For Arrest In Xinjiang

 

“We do not develop algorithms, nor applications in the field of facial recognition or solutions targeting ethnic groups,” Huawei told AFP.

“Our products and solutions comply with industry standards and current regulations. Huawei fully and strictly adheres to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and complies with laws in the 170 countries where it operates.”

Human Rights Watch says Uighurs in Xinjiang are being arrested after being reported by software that identifies suspicious behaviour.

Surveillance spending in Xinjiang has risen sharply in recent years, with facial recognition, iris scanners, DNA collection, and artificial intelligence deployed across the province in the name of preventing terrorism.

China has come under intense international criticism over its policies in Xinjiang, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been held in internment camps.

China defends the camps as vocational training centres aimed at stamping out terrorism and improving employment opportunities.

– Making voices heard –

Griezmann, a 29-year-old forward who was a key part of the France team that reached the final of Euro 2016 and then won the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He has been a Huawei brand ambassador since 2017 and has featured prominently in a giant advertising campaign for the company in France.

Griezmann made his name with Real Sociedad in Spain before moving to Atletico Madrid in 2014.

He joined Barcelona in a 120-million-euro ($145.5 million) deal in 2019 and is expected to be part of the French squad for next year’s European championships.

His decision to end his Huawei contract comes at a time when French sports figures, especially high-profile footballers, are increasingly making their voice heard on social and political issues.

In posts on his social media accounts last month, Griezmann expressed his concern at a video showing French policemen beating a music producer.

The video was one of the factors that led President Emmanuel Macron to declare that there is an “urgent need” to reform the police.

Griezmann previously suggested teams should walk off the field when faced with homophobic abuse from the stands, saying that “homophobia is a crime, not an opinion” in a May 2019 interview with French LGBT magazine Tetu.

On Wednesday, the Paris Saint-Germain team, containing Griezmann’s World Cup teammate Kylian Mbappe, walked off the pitch with their opponents from Istanbul Basaksehir in protest at the allegedly racist language used by a match official in a Champions League game.

AFP

Huawei Appeals Swedish 5G Ban

The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer's hand in London on July 14, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China's Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

Chinese telecoms group Huawei has appealed Sweden’s decision to ban it from the country’s 5G network for security reasons, a legal filing obtained by AFP on Friday showed.

The ban, announced by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) on October 20, “lacks legal basis, violates fundamental human rights, violates fundamental EU legal principles … and is incorrect in substance,” Huawei wrote in its appeal to PTS and the Stockholm administrative court.

If carried out, it would cause “exceptionally comprehensive and irreparable damage” to its business, Huawei added.

PTS has said that its ban, which also affects Chinese company ZTE, is in line with new legislation that took effect in January 2020, following an examination by Sweden’s armed forces and security service “to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these (5G network) bands does not cause harm to Sweden’s security.”

Carriers using any existing Huawei and ZTE installations must also remove them by January 2025, PTS said.

The United States alleges Chinese firms are used to spy for Beijing — allegations which China denies — and has piled pressure on allies to cut Huawei from their telecommunications infrastructure.

Huawei said in its appeal there was “no concrete evidence of a cybersecurity threat” posed by the company, and insisted that “the Chinese state cannot order Huawei to spy”.

China’s embassy in Stockholm has previously urged the Swedish government to review its decision.

-AFP

Huawei Exec Accuses US Of Misleading Canada In Extradition Case

The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer's hand in London on July 14, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China's Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer’s hand in London on July 14, 2020. – Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China’s Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and her lawyers returned to a Canadian court on Monday to press for her release, arguing that the United States, by omitting key facts, blatantly misled Canada about her alleged crimes to secure her arrest.

The defense started the five-day hearing by saying that the crux of the US charges against Meng — that she hid Huawei’s relationship with former subsidiary Skycom in Iran from HSBC bank — is false and lacks context.

Meng’s lawyer Scott Fenton accused the United States of having “breached its duty to be forthright and candid.”

“The misstatements (and) omissions in the record of the case,” he told the British Columbia Supreme Court, “go to the very heart of the fraud case.”

As such, he said, the extradition proceedings should be halted.

The Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer was arrested on a US warrant in December 2018 during a stopover in Vancouver.

She is charged with bank fraud linked to violations of US sanctions against Iran, and has been fighting extradition ever since.

The case has added to severe strain in Sino-US ties and created an unprecedented rift between Canada and China.

Nine days after Meng’s arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor in what is widely viewed as retaliation over Meng.

Espionage charges were filed against the pair in June, soon after Meng’s first legal setback, when her bid to have the case thrown out — arguing that the US accusations were not crimes in Canada — was defeated.

The past nearly two years of sporadic court appearances have also seen Meng’s attorneys trade barbs with Canadian government lawyers over access to classified documents and purported violations of her rights.

– The Skycom connection –
Despite the Covid-19 outbreak’s disruptions of trials in Canada, Meng’s case has proceeded by teleconference — though at a slow pace.

She appeared in person on Monday for the first time in months, wearing a face mask, in accordance with public health rules, and an electronic monitoring anklet as a condition of her bail.

US indictments allege that Meng and the world’s largest telecoms equipment manufacturer conducted business in Iran in violation of US sanctions through Skycom.

The US Justice Department says the Hong Kong-registered firm was a poorly disguised Huawei front company.

They note that Skycom employees had Huawei email addresses and badges, and that Skycom’s leadership were Huawei employees — including Meng, who has admitted to serving previously on its board.

Huawei also at one point owned a stake in Skycom but sold its shares to another company that the United States says also was controlled by Huawei.

The US alleges Meng fraudulently concealed all this from HSBC, putting the bank at risk of unknowingly violating Iran sanctions.

It pointed to a presentation Meng made in 2013 to an HSBC executive after the British banking group, worried over potential Iran exposure, requested an explanation.

But Meng insists she was up-front with HSBC and its executive at the Hong Kong tea house meeting.

“The purpose of the meeting was sanctions compliance, whether Huawei and Skycom were doing business in Iran, and Meng was candid,” said defense lawyer Frank Addario.

Fenton added, “The vast majority of what (Meng) stated to HSBC is not included in the (case) summary,” including “key statements” that could prove to be exculpatory.

Meng, he said, “put HSBC on full notice that both Huawei and Skycom were doing business in Iran.”

“She told them everything they needed to know to measure sanctions risk,” he added, including how processing any related transactions through the US banking system could put HSBC in jeopardy.

Huawei has rejected as “unfounded” these and additional charges filed in February, accusing the company of stealing technologies from US firms.

Meng remains under house arrest in Vancouver while the extradition case, which is due to wrap up in March or April 2021, is heard.

 

 

 

-AFP

Huawei Overtakes Samsung As Top Smartphone Seller

A man wearing a face mask uses his mobile phone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing on May 16, 2020. WANG Zhao / AFP
A man wearing a face mask uses his mobile phone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing on May 16, 2020.
WANG Zhao / AFP

 

 

 

China’s Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the number-one smartphone seller worldwide in the second quarter on the back of strong domestic demand, industry tracker Canalys said Thursday.

Canalys said the embattled firm, which is facing US sanctions and falling overseas sales, shipped 55.8 million devices — overtaking Samsung for the first time, which shifted 53.7 million units.

The findings marked the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, Canalys said.

US sanctions had “stifled” Huawei’s business outside mainland China, the research group added, but it had grown to dominate its substantial home market.

More than 70 percent of Huawei smartphones are now sold in the country, Canalys said, where Samsung has a very small share of the market.

Huawei said in a statement it was a sign of “exceptional resilience”.

Overseas shipments, however, fell nearly a third in the second quarter and Canalys analyst Mo Jia warned that strength in China alone “will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover”.

“Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk,” Mo said.

Huawei — the world’s top producer of telecoms networking equipment — has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical standoff between Beijing and Washington, which claims the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat.

Global tensions

Washington has essentially barred Huawei from the US market and waged a global campaign to isolate the company.

The British government bowed to growing US pressure and pledged earlier this month to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.

The politically-fraught change requires companies to stop buying new 5G equipment from Huawei starting next year and strip out existing gear by the end of 2027.

On Wednesday the US ambassador in Brasilia warned of “consequences” if Brazil chooses Huawei for the project to develop the next generation of telecommunications technology in Latin America’s most populous country.

Australia and Japan have taken steps to block or restrict the Chinese company’s participation in their 5G rollouts, and European telecoms operators including Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s Telia have passed over Huawei as a supplier.

The US has also requested the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges, further damaging relations between China and Canada, where she is under house arrest.

Meng, the Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer, was arrested on a US warrant in December 2018 during a stopover in Vancouver and has been fighting extradition ever since.

 

 

-AFP

China Calls Britain ‘America’s Dupe’ For Banning Huawei

The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer's hand in London on July 14, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China's Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer’s hand in London on July 14, 2020.  (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

 

Beijing lashed out Wednesday at Britain’s decision to ban Huawei equipment, saying London had become “America’s dupe” and vowing to take measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies.

The British government bowed to growing US pressure and pledged Tuesday to remove Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.

“China will fully and solemnly assess this matter, and will take a series of necessary measures to safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a routine briefing.

“Any decisions and actions (by Britain) must come at a cost,” Hua said, without elaborating.

US officials hailed Britain’s decision, saying it showed a “growing international consensus” that Huawei and other companies allegedly linked to the Chinese state pose a threat to national security.

Hua claimed London “(acted) in coordination with the US to discriminate against, suppress and eliminate” Huawei, and accused Britain of becoming “America’s dupe”.

Huawei has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical war between China and the US, which claims that the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat.

The US has also requested the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges, worsening relations between China and Canada, where she is currently under house arrest.

Beijing suggested that Britain might face further repercussions for the move, and warned Chinese companies to think twice about investing there.

Over the past decade, successive UK governments have encouraged the growth of economic ties between Britain and China, which have become more crucial as London finalises its departure from the European Union.

“This is an issue that seriously threatens the security of Chinese investment in the UK, and is also a question of whether we can trust the UK market to remain open, fair and free from discrimination,” said Hua.

“We have also reminded all Chinese enterprises to attach great importance to the increasing political security risks they face when conducting business in the UK.”

 

AFP

US Hails Britain For Removing Huawei’s 5G Access

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from the White House on July 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/AFP
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from the White House on July 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/AFP

 

The United States hailed Britain’s decision Tuesday to order the phased removal of China’s Huawei telecoms giant from its 5G network, following months of pressure from Washington.

The British ban, which came despite warnings of retaliation by Beijing, handed US President Donald Trump a victory.

“The reported #UK action reflects a growing international consensus that #Huawei and other untrusted vendors pose a threat to national security, as they remain beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said on Twitter.

“We look forward to working with the UK, as well as our many other partners and allies, to spur innovation, promote vendor diversity in the #5G supply chain, and ensure 5G security free from dangerous manipulations.”

Amid rising tensions with China, Trump has pushed allies to ban Huawei from their telecommunications networks on the grounds that it poses a national security risk.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially resisted, allowing Huawei to roll out a new high-speed network in Britain in January.

But US sanctions in May blocking Huawei’s access to US chips for the 5G networks brought a change of heart in London.

 

AFP

Britain Set To Back Removal Of Huawei From 5G

The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone held in the photographer's hand in London on July 14, 2020. - Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China's Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Britain on Tuesday ordered its telecom providers to stop purchasing 5G equipment from China’s Huawei giant from the start of next year, and to strip out all of its equipment by 2027. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

 

Britain was expected Tuesday to approve the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network, a decision long sought by Washington but resisted by Beijing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was chairing meetings of his cabinet and the National Security Council, with an expected decision on the issue from 1130 GMT.

Last week, China warned Britain it could face repercussions in terms of its international reputation as a trading nation if it backed down on Huawei.

Johnson infuriated US President Donald Trump and upset some members of his own Conservative party by allowing the Chinese 5G leader to help roll out Britain’s speedy new data network in January.

The UK was then completing its tortured departure from the European Union and looking to establish strong ties with powerful Asian economies that could fulfil Johnson’s vision of a “global Britain”.

But the Trump administration told Johnson’s government that its decision imperilled intelligence sharing and could even result in the Pentagon relocating some fighter jets from its English base.

Washington believes the private Chinese company could either spy for Beijing or shut down rival countries’ 5G networks in times of war.

Huawei has always denied this and pointed to two decades of cooperation with British security agencies that checked on the safety of its existing 3G and 4G networks.

The British review was triggered by new US sanctions in May that blocked Huawei’s access to US chips and semi-conductors at the heart of 5G networks.

The restriction raised the possibility of Huawei having to switch from trusted US suppliers to alternatives whose safety could not be guaranteed by UK security agencies.

– ‘Outages’ –
Johnson is coming under growing political pressure to not only dump Huawei but also adopt a tough line with China for its treatment of Hong Kong and repression of ethnic Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region.

But he also pledged to voters last year to bring broadband access to all Britons by 2025.

British telecoms companies have warned that stripping out all existing Huawei equipment could cost them billions and take years to implement.

BT chief executive Philip Jansen said Monday that Britain could suffer “outages” and potential security risks if the sector was forced to stop dealing with the Chinese firm.

“If you were to try and not have Huawei at all (in 5G activities) ideally we’d want seven years and we could probably do it in five,” he said.

Huawei appears resigned to eventually losing the British market after fighting the decision for months.

Its executives reportedly wrote to Johnson’s office requesting that Britain’s ban on the installation of new Huawei equipment only take effect at the end of 2021.

Huawei also reportedly wants the deadline for all its gear to be stripped of Britain to take effect after June 2025.

Johnson’s government originally allowed Huawei to roll out up to 35 percent of Britain’s 5G network under the condition that it stays out of “core” elements dealing with personal data.

 

 

-AFP

Huawei Loses 5G Bid In Singapore To Nokia, Ericsson

This photo taken on June 23, 2020 shows a Huawei global flagship store ahead of its opening in Shanghai. STR / AFP
This photo taken on June 23, 2020, shows a Huawei global flagship store ahead of its opening in Shanghai. STR / AFP

 

Nokia and Ericsson have been chosen as Singapore’s main 5G network providers, telecom operators said, leaving Huawei with only a minor role as the Chinese tech giant faces growing US pressure.

Huawei has been dogged by allegations of stealing American trade secrets and aiding China’s espionage efforts, with Washington pushing countries to bar the company from involvement in their next-generation networks.

Huawei has denied ties with the Chinese government.

Singtel, one of the city-state’s main telecom operators, on Wednesday said it had chosen Sweden’s Ericsson to build its 5G network after the government gave final approval.

A joint venture that includes the country’s two other major telecom operators, M1 and StarHub, announced it had opted for Nokia to build its main 5G infrastructure.

However both M1 and Starhub said that other firms, including Huawei, could have some involvement in the project.

Huawei only won the contract to be a provider for a smaller, local network system, operated by TPG Telecom, a more minor player.

The Southeast Asian city-state tries to maintain good relations with both the US and China, and Information Minister S. Iswaran insisted that no company had been excluded in the selection process.

“We have run a robust process spelling out our requirements in terms of performance, security and resilience,” he said, adding that mobile network operators also had their own criteria.

“There is a diversity of vendors participating in different parts of the 5G ecosystem, and… there remain prospects for greater involvement in our 5G system going forward.”

Singapore is aiming to have ultra high-speed internet coverage for half of the country by the end of 2022, and expand it to cover the entire island by the end of 2025.

The US government launched a worldwide campaign against Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecom network equipment and the planet’s number two smartphone maker, about 18 months ago.

Washington essentially banned Huawei from the US market last year, although earlier this month it let the firm back into the fold when it comes to companies working together to set standards for 5G networks.

 

AFP