Ditch Huawei?

An increasing number of the British public don't want Huawei

The Times

Huawei urges Britain: Don’t drop us till after next election

Huawei bosses have asked for a last-ditch meeting with Downing Street as ministers prepare to approve plans to kick the company out of Britain’s 5G network.

The Chinese telecoms firm wants to strike a deal with Boris Johnson to delay its removal from the mobile phone network until after the next election in 2025, in the hope that a future government might reverse the decision. In return, Huawei will pledge to maintain its equipment, which is also used in the 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

BT and Vodafone have said that stripping out Huawei equipment before 2025 could lead to a loss of phone coverage.

Sources close to the company say Huawei will not make an explicit threat to cease maintenance. It will stress “the costs of maintaining those networks” and make the point that “without Huawei there will be blackouts”.

The prime minister will chair a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday at which ministers will be asked to ban the purchase of any new Huawei equipment by the end of this year, with the company removed from 5G by the middle 2020s.

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Is good trade with China more important than keeping Huawei out of the 5G network?

Despite a stark warning from the Ambassador, only 16% think Huawei should have a role in the UK 5G network to maintain good trade with China.

The Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, has said the UK will “have to bear the consequences” and that trade could suffer if Huawei is removed from the UK 5G Network – but it seems that Brits aren’t falling for the scare tactics.

Huawei’s involvement in the UK 5G network has been a point of contention between the UK and US due to cyber security concerns and the alleged theft of intellectual property. The Chinese company’s involvement has been under review by the National Cyber Security Centre – and an announcement on whether Huawei 5G technology that has already been installed will be removed is expected within weeks from Number 10.

Banning Huawei from the network would “send a very bad message to other Chinese businesses” the Ambassador said at a press briefing on Monday. Following the Ambassadors comments, YouGov asked adults what was more important: allowing Huawei to keep its role and protect trade with China, or ban it from the network at the risk of future trade with the country.

Overall, half (52%) of British adults think we should keep Huawei out of the 5G network, even if that puts trade at risk.

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