The government could prevent Huawei from having a role in UK 5G networks after it received a report that is believed to claim that working with Chinese firm could have major security implications.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the UK might be “vulnerable to a high-risk state vendor” as pressure mounted from fellow MPs to ban Huawei from installing its telecoms kit.
The move would be a significant change of course for the government just six months after it greenlit plans to offer Huawei a limited role in 5G with a cap of 35% outside of the “core” part of the network.
Suspicion about Huawei’s links to the CCP, the ruling political party in China, has grown since then and a new report delivered by the GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre is unlikely to have eased fears.
The NSCS’s findings are not directly linked to the CCP but are believed to have uncovered potential security issues with Huawei products following recent US sanctions.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said about the report: “We’re now examining it and understanding the implications of it.”
A ban on Huawei would not go down well in China, and the country’s ambassador to the UK said it would face consequences for its actions.
Huawei’s head of international media for the UK, Paul Harrison said current UK policy is being “dictated” by the Trump administration.
The government will now have to decide how far it will go as it looks to cut back on its dependency on Huawei.
BT and Vodafone had previously been given until the end of the decade to get rid of equipment that is already installed in its 5G networks.