LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei [HWT.UL] a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on Tuesday, defying U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese company from next-generation communications over fears Beijing could use them to spy.
Following is the approach to Huawei taken by other countries:
Washington has piled pressure on its allies to shut out Huawei, the world’s leading telecoms equipment vendor with a global market share of 28%, saying its gear contained “back doors” that would enable China to spy on other countries. President Donald Trump has not yet commented on Britain’s decision.
Australia banned Huawei from supplying equipment for a 5G mobile network in 2018.
Huawei had originally struck a deal to lay undersea cables to bring high-speed internet to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, but in 2018 Australia decided to fund and build the infrastructure itself.
New Zealand, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network together with Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada, blocked service provider Spark [SPK.NZ] from using Huawei 5G equipment in 2018.
Spark said last November it would not use Huawei exclusively in its 5G rollout, but would keep it on its three-company list of preferred equipment suppliers.
The government of Canada has been studying the security implications of 5G networks and is expected to pay close attention to Britain’s decision.
Ottawa is also locked in an ongoing bilateral dispute with Beijing after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, on a U.S. extradition request.
The European Union set out new guidelines last week allowing member states to restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers, warning of security risks and the danger of depending on a single supplier. They did not single out Huawei.
A potential EU-wide consensus on security standards has been dubbed the “toolbox”.
EU digital economy chief Margrethe Vestager is expected to announce the next steps on Jan. 29.
In Europe’s largest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked lawmakers to wait until after a March EU summit before taking a position on whether or not to exclude Huawei from Germany’s 5G rollout.
She favours strict security requirements for the 5G network, but opposes excluding individual companies. She faces opposition from those in her party who back U.S. calls to ban Huawei outright.
Huawei has a strong foothold in Poland but remains under scrutiny. Poland might have different security demands for the core of its 5G system and the rest of the network, its digital minister said in December.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz did not rule out deploying Huawei equipment in Austria’s future 5G networks on Monday but said the country would coordinate its decisions with the rest of the EU.
Editing by Keith Weir and Gareth Jones