Theresa May OKs Huawei Participation In Britain’s 5G Network Project

Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, March 11, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson)

Amid security warnings from the European Union (EU) and the United States, British Prime Minister Theresa May has approved Huawei's limited participation in the U.K.'s 5G network projects.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the National Security Council (NSC) headed by May allowed for Huawei's limited participation in the United Kingdom's work on establishing its 5G network. The Chinese tech behemoth will be allowed to help manufacture "noncore" network equipment such as antennas.

Some experts noted that the NSC's move could be a huge milestone for Brexit supporters who believe that Great Britain can actually make firm decisions without the EU's intervention. Analysts also indicated that easing up on Huawei could enhance China-U.K. ties.

A number of European officials reportedly had issues with May's decision, including International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. The tension reportedly resulted in the council deciding to allow for the firm's limited participation in the 5G initiative.

The decision to keep Huawei from providing "core" tools and service in Britain's 5G initiative could cost the U.K., some analysts suggested. Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to visit China this to take part in the Belt and Road forum in Beijing but the issue could be raised during his visit.

May's move of approving Huawei to participate at some point in the U.K.'s 5G network project came after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration asked its allies to ban the Chinese provider's 5G technology.

A number of European countries heeded U.S. calls to ban Huawei technology. Like the U.K., Germany only called for enhanced security measures but not a blanket ban. Asian nations such as the Philippines have also rallied to support the Chinese tech giant.

Despite continuous pressure from the west, Huawei's revenue soared. It was reported last week that the firm's revenue saw a hike of 39 percent in the first quarter of this year. The U.S. also has yet to prove its security allegations against one of China's leading tech companies.

Huawei also confirmed that it remains unfazed despite mounting pressure from the U.S. government and other countries. President of Huawei Middle East, Charles Yang, said that American claims on the company's networks will not affect Middle Eastern business ties.

"The truth will prevail in the end and will be shown to the world. If the US wants to accuse Huawei, they need to have solid evidence," Yang said. He added that the company prioritizes cybersecurity as it continues to provide equipment and service in 170 countries.

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