EU will not ban China's Huawei, but impose 'strict' 5G rules: official

UK paves way for restricted Huawei role in 5G network: statement

China's Huawei says 'reassured' by 5G role offered by Britain

The EU will not ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Europe, a top official said on Tuesday, despite intense pressure from Washington to shun the company over spying fears.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will officially unveil its recommendations on Wednesday, but commissioner Thierry Breton told MEPs that Brussels will choose tight scrutiny over any blanket ban.

“It is not a question of discrimination it is a question of laying down rules. They will be strict, they will be demanding and of course we will welcome in Europe all operators who are willing to apply them,” he said.
However, United Kingdoms has decided to allow Huawei to continue to be in its 5G networks but with restrictions, against pressure from the US to block the firm.

Britain will allow Chinese telecommunications giant to play a limited role in its next generation 5G mobile networks.

The U.K. government said that Huawei will be restricted from being involved in “sensitive functions” in a network of features labeled as “core.” The Chinese firm will be banned from supplying kit to "sensitive parts" of the network, known as the core.

There is also a limit in place on how much equipment networks can buy from one “high risk vendor” for a particular part of the infrastructure known as the Radio Access Network (RAN.) This is essentially the part of the network that hooks up your devices with the actual 5G signal. That cap is set at 35%.
The Prime Minister had faced pressure from the US and some Conservative MPs to block the Chinese tech giant on the grounds of national security.

But Beijing had warned the UK there could be "substantial" repercussions to other trade and investment plans had the company been banned outright. The decision has been described as the biggest test of Mr Johnson's post-Brexit strategy to date.

“The cap at 35% ensures the U.K. will not become nationally dependent on a high risk vendor while retaining competition in the market and allowing operators to continue to use two Radio Access Network (RAN) vendors,” the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre said in its review of the country’s telecommunications supply chain on Tuesday.

The move could strain relations between the U.K. and U.S. following a campaign by Washington to have the the Chinese firm blocked from as many markets as possible, including Britain. The U.S. claims Huawei poses a national security risk because its equipment could be used by Beijing for espionage. Politicians have also raised concerns about Huawei’s links to the Chinese Communist Party. Huawei has repeatedly denied these claims and any link to China’s government.

Huawei will likely view the decision as a win given it has already been blocked in other key markets including Australia and Japan.

“Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the U.K. access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market,” Victor Zhang, vice president at Huawei, said in a statement.

In the lead up to the decision, U.S. politicians pressured the U.K. to outright ban Huawei. Over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Britain had a “momentous decision ahead on 5G” replying to British Conservative lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, who said: “The truth is that only nations able to protect their data will be sovereign.”

And there is also a risk that the intelligence sharing relationship between the U.S. and China is under threat. Earlier this month, a U.S. lawmaker has introduced a bill that would stop the United States from sharing intelligence with countries that use Huawei equipment for their 5G networks. That bill is not yet law.

5G technology is more than just faster download speeds on mobile devices. It promises to be able to underpin other new technologies like driverless cars for example. That’s why it’s viewed as so crucial — because it could be the backbone for critical infrastructure in the future.

Some lawmakers in the Conservative government’s own party sent warnings to U.K. Prime Minster Boris Johnson.

“The danger is that you allow China leverage into your system, into your critical national infrastructure if you allow Huawei in,” Conservative lawmaker Bob Seely, told BBC Radio 4′s “Today” show on Tuesday


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