‘No technological grounds’ to ban Huawei from 5G, say MPs

Huawei, News

There are no technological grounds for banning Chinese firm Huawei from the UK’s 5G networks, the Science and Technology Select Committee has said.

In a letter to Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, the chairman of the parliamentary select committee said it had “found no evidence” that excluding Huawei from UK telecoms infrastructure would be a “proportionate response” to security fears around the company.

The Chinese firm has come under scrutiny over alleged links to the Chinese government, with some critics arguing that its telecoms equipment could be used to spy on people in the West.

The company is currently the subject of an ongoing government review into whether it is safe to use the firm’s equipment, with a final decision expected later this summer.

Liberal Democrats annual conference 2017
Science and Technology Committee chairman Norman Lamb (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Science and Technology Committee chairman Norman Lamb said: “Following my committee’s recent evidence session, we have concluded that there are no technical grounds for excluding Huawei entirely from the UK’s 5G or other telecommunications networks.

“The benefits of 5G are clear and the removal of Huawei from the current or future networks could cause significant delays.

“However, as outlined in the letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we feel there may well be geopolitical or ethical considerations that the Government need to take into account when deciding whether they should use Huawei’s equipment.

“The Government also needs to consider whether the use of Huawei’s technology would jeopardise this country’s ongoing co-operation with our major allies.

“Moreover, Huawei has been accused of supplying equipment in Western China that could be enabling serious human rights abuses. The evidence we heard during our evidence session did little to assure us that this is not the case.

“I hope the evidence we have gathered helps the Government as it completes its Telecoms Supply Chain Review, which must be published by the end of August 2019.”

Chris Price
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