Canada may become the next country to ban Huawei’s 5G technology.
The U.S. has been pushing everyone for a long time, forcing them to give up Huawei equipment. And it works: this week, Britain, contrary to the original agreement, officially refused to provide services to the Chinese company.
Since entering the British market in 2001, the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has managed to invest over £2 billion in various projects in the UK and create many jobs in the country.
On July 14, the authorities officially announced that they would not use Huawei’s new equipment to deploy 5G networks or even replace its existing equipment by 2027.
The dramatic turnaround in British attitudes was by no means spontaneous. Since the end of last year, London has been under intense pressure from the US. Banning its companies from almost any cooperation with Huawei and another Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, because of alleged espionage in favor of the Chinese Communist Party, Washington did everything to ensure that the American allies did the same.
The UK was the penultimate member of the Five Eyes intelligence community (its other members are the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) that abandoned China’s telecommunications systems.
The only member of the Five Eyes that remained undecided about Huawei was Canada. The country’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who was thought to have a positive attitude towards the Chinese company, promised a year and a half ago to announce his verdict on its participation in laying 5G networks for the October 2019 parliamentary elections, but has not yet done so.
– I expect Canada to ban Huawei in the very near future, but this is more for national security reasons than to send a political signal to China,” said Margaret McQuaig-Johnston of the Chinese Alberta Institute.
Given China’s 2017 National Intelligence Act, which requires companies and individuals to spy on behalf of China if asked, and to keep this spying a secret, Canada, like the UK, cannot take the risk of facilitating Beijing’s access to our IT systems and our power grid.
Right now, Public Safety Canada is conducting a study on new 5G technologies and related security and economic considerations.
– The government has made it clear that it will follow an approach that takes into account important domestic and international considerations and will make the best decision for Canadians,” said Ministry spokeswoman Karin Martel.
At Huawei itself, which is accustomed to spy charges, the British decision was met with regret: “Our future in Britain has become politicized.”