London: Bowing to pressure from his own party members, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked officials to draw up plans to reduce Huawei’ involvement in the nation’s 5G networks to zero by 2023, the media reported.
The UK’s original plans, as recently as in January, was to allow considerable involvement of Huawei in the country’s 5G network as Britain’s intelligence agencies suggested that any possible misuse of the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment for mass surveillance could be contained, according to both The Guardian and The Telegraph.
The British PM wanted to cap Huawei’s share in the country’s telecommunications infrastructure market at 35 per cent.
But the assurance of the intelligence agencies failed to stop political concerns in the country as many Conservative members continued to favour a reduced role for Huawei.
The new plan to reduce Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network brings the country in alignment with a position that the US has championed for quite some time now.
The decision comes ahead of Johnson’s scheduled visit to the US for the G7 summit next month, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.
The US government alleged that China could use Huawei technology for spying purposes and added the company to the Entity List on May 16, 2019 in a bid to block the company’s access to US technology.
Alleging that Huawei and its foreign affiliates stepped-up efforts to undermine the Entity list restrictions, the US government last week rolled out new export controls aimed at limiting the Chinese technology giant’s access to semiconductor technology .
Huawei called the new export rule “arbitrary and pernicious” which “threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide”.