The UK does not seem to share US concerns about Chinese network supplier and handset maker Huawei. As reported by the Financial Times („FT“) on Sunday, Huawei is classified by the government in London as a „manageable risk“ in 5G network expansion. That could be a landmark assessment for other states.
The Financial Times („FT“) relies in its report on statements from multiple sources within the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), a government agency. The NCSC has stated that it is possible to minimize the risks of Huawei’s participation in network expansion for the 5G mobile communications standard, it says.
Above all the USA made in the past months mood against the Chinese manufacturer. It is feared that deliberate weaknesses in the technology could be installed. Therefore, the manufacturer is virtually denied access to the mobile network in the US.
Assessment may be groundbreaking
The fact that Britain is now resisting the US course could also be groundbreaking for other states. Like the US, Britain is one of the „Five Eyes“, a secret service alliance between the two states together with Australia, Canada and New Zealand – with the exception of London, all members want to defend themselves against Huawei’s participation in 5G.
This is precisely why the NCSC report attaches great importance to the government agency’s conclusion being „weighty,“ says one person to the „FT“, which is familiar with the current debate surrounding Huawei. Other states may point out to the public and the US government that London is confident that it can handle the risk. One acts „prudently“, if one permits the employment of Chinese components, as long as one adheres to the prescriptions of London, then the estimation of the person opposite the „FT“.
Pence warned against Huawei
It was not until Saturday that US Vice President Mike Pence said at the Munich Security Conference that Huawei posed a threat because there is a law in China that requires the manufacturer to share data with the Chinese government. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the security concerns surrounding Huawei are taken „very seriously“.
In Austria warns against excluding Huawei from network expansion. An exclusion of the provider could become a barrier to innovation, it said on Wednesday from the Ministry of Transport. According to the Ministry of Transport, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Poland in particular want a common position with Huawei. It must be ensured that the competitiveness of the markets in Europe and Austria is not restricted.
Spying allegations for years
Spying allegations against Huawei have been going on for years – but concrete indications have not yet been presented. Huawei himself rejects allegations of espionage suspicion, and China has responded sharply to criticism in recent weeks. At the end of January, Chinese EU Ambassador Zhang Ming told the Financial Times that the concerns of some European countries were „slanderous“ and „discriminatory“. The rejection of Chinese technology in European projects will have „serious consequences“ for global cooperation.
At the request of the „FT“, the NCSC did not object to the newspaper’s presentation that the risk on the basis of Huawei was manageable. In the spring, the UK government will deal with grid expansion, by which time the final report will include information on how to handle potential risks, according to the FT.