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Boris Johnson has agreed to allow China’s massive telecom company, Huawei, to take part in Britain’s 5G network. He made the decision despite the U.S. asking Britain not to include the company in the next-generation communications for fears that they will have too much access to sensitive information.
According to CBC, Johnson has decided that Huawei can only access “non-sensitive” information and can only have 35 percent involvement in the 5G network.
The company would not have access to the core of networks or any sensitive locations like military bases according to the British government.
Donald Trump and the U.S. administration will not be content with the decision as they fear the company could be used by China to access secret information. The U.S. said that they would possibly reduce intelligence cooperation with London.
The new 5G network with its unprecedented speeds is said to be among the largest innovations since the internet was introduced.
After a meeting led by Johnson, Nicky Morgan, the British Communications Secretary said, “This is a U.K.-specific solution for U.K.-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.”
Cybersecurity officials in Britain have noted that Huawei is always handled as a “high risk” business.
The White House has not yet responded to the actions taken by Johnson.
On Tuesday Huawei’s vice-president, Victor Zhang said, “Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.”
“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the U.K. access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
Huawei has claimed that the U.S. does not want the company in Britain because they cannot compete as Huawei is the largest producer of telecom equipment in the world.
Within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Canada is the only country that has not decided whether to work with Huawei on 5G networks.
As Canada continues its rocky relationship with China, things remain uncertain. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has finished the first stage of extradition hearing but China still has two Canadians detained.
The U.S. has claimed that as the 5G networks grow and evolve, Huawei’s access to different parts of the network will be harder to monitor.