Daily Management Review

“Grave Concerns” About Huawei Expressed By UK Defence Minister


“Grave Concerns” About Huawei Expressed By UK Defence Minister
Grave concerns about the issue of the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturing company Huawei supplying technological equipment for the planned 5G telecoms networks in the United Kingdom was expressed by the British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, said a report published in the Times newspaper reported on Thursday.
One of the largest etch companies of China, Huawei is also the largest manufacturer and supplier of telecommunication equipment of the world. In recent months, the company has been under intense scrutiny of a number of Western governments with a number of governments banning the company’s equipment from being used in sensitive communication projects in their countries. The allegation against the company is that it has very close ties with the Chinese government and other Chinese security authorities and there is fear among some that the telecom equipment supplied by it can be used by Beijing for espionage. All such allegations have been however repeatedly refuted by Huawei.
According to the UK defence secretary Williamson, before Huawei is allowed to take part in process of the development of the latest technology in communication in the UK, there was need for a closer examination of any and all possible security threats because of the company’s equipment. The Times report comments that this comment of Williamson makes him the first senior British minister to expresses such comments in public on the issue.
"I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It's something we'd have to look at very closely," Williamson was quoted by the paper as saying.
"We've got to look at what partners such as Australia and the US are doing in order to ensure that they have the maximum security of that 5G network and we've got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way."
In the United States, Huawei has been banned from supplying any of its communication equipment to any of the government agencies and departments earlier in August this year. There were also reports that the US president Donald Trump is also considering imposition of an executive order that would proclaim national security threats and thereby grant authority to the US Commerce Department to ban all US companies from purchasing any equipment supplied by Huawei and another Chinese tech company ZTE. This would effectively cut off the companies form the American market. Huawei has also been prevented from bidding and supplying its equipment in core sectors of telecommunication and 5G technologies in Australia and New Zealand last month.
There was need for the UK to conduct close and detailed discussions on the reliance of development of 5G networks in the country on equipment supplied by Chinese companies, said the chief of Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service Alex Younger earlier this month. However many analysts see that the Western countries are ignoring another important issue related to the likelihood of the future dominance of emerging technologies by China and Chinese firms.