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Global Times

UK gives Huawei green light to help build 5G network

Global Times

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/1/28 21:03:37

The British government on Tuesday approved a restricted role for Huawei in building the country's 5G network.

Huawei, the Shenzhen-based networking and telecommunications equipment and services supplier, said that it is reassured by the British government's confirmation that it can continue working with the customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.

"The evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future," Victor Zhang, vice-president of Huawei, said.

The latest decision came nearly a year after the British government said it would mull whether to allow Huawei infrastructure kit on the nation's 5G mobile network.

Other European countries, including Germany, are also expected to make decisions on the Chinese tech giant. European leaders have said that building 5G network could be costlier and slower without Huawei equipment.

"I think that decision for the UK could have ramifications into the decisions in other markets as well," Kester Mann, director of consumer and connectivity from CCS Insight, told Xinhua.

"If Huawei is banned from some countries, I think it's to no one's real benefit," Mann said. CCS Insight is a research and advisory company focused on the mobile communications sector.

"Huawei's technology is already deeply embedded in the global standards that underpin 5G," said University of Cambridge Judge Business School Professor Peter Williamson. "The costs to the UK of excluding Huawei would be huge and complete exclusion is virtually impossible."

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming has earlier warned that banning Huawei could mean back-pedalling for Britain, which would leave it trailing behind on technology.

His concerns are shared by several British telecommunications operators, which have admitted that banning Huawei equipment would delay Britain's 5G roll-out.

Huawei UK "has created huge job opportunities for the local community, contributed to the telecommunications sector in the UK and played a positive part in the economic and social progress here in this country," Liu said at an event in London on Monday night.

Critics have said that the U.S. government is fabricating "Huawei risk" in the name of "national security."

The Science and Technology Select Committee of the British House of Commons has concluded that there are no technical grounds for excluding Huawei entirely from Britain's 5G or other telecommunications networks.

China has repeatedly stressed that it had never and will never ask companies or individuals to collect data, information or intelligence in others countries by illegal means.

Statistics showed that from 2012 to 2017, Huawei brought 2 billion pounds (about 2.6 billion U.S. dollars) to Britain through investment and procurement, and created 26,000 jobs. In early 2018, the company pledged to invest a further 3 billion pounds (about 3.9 billion dollars) in the country over the next five years.

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