DHARAMSALA, Dec 28: Britain’s Defence Secretary has expressed deep concerns over Chinese tech giant Huawei’s involvement in providing the 5G network in Britain.
“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,” The Times quotes British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson as saying.
British Defence Secretary warning of grave concern Huawei’s involvement in the 5G on Britain’s mobile network as a potential risk to the national security has already been expressed by the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
“We’ve got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way,” he added.
Further, in a similar vein, the chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service commonly known as MI6 has said Britain would have to make “some decisions” about the involvement of firms such as Huawei, expressing similar concerns earlier this year, the report noted.
Fifth-generation mobile networks, or 5G, will offer faster transmission speeds possibly up to 200 times faster than 4G networks.
Huawei is said to have close links with the Chinese military, as its founder Ren Zhengfei was a former officer at the People’s Liberation Army, besides selling cell phones, it also sells equipment that is part of the global roll-out of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks which experts say could be used for undetected surveillance or intelligence gathering by the communist regime.
Meanwhile, fearing potential risk to the national security, Former Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Ward Elcock has stated that having a Chinese company be so critical to telecom infrastructure should raise red flags for Canadian officials, noted an earlier report on Global News.
Rogers, Canada’s second-largest telecom firm snubbed Huawei and announced an agreement with European company Ericsson earlier this year in April to build its 5G network.
Though Huawei has denied any improper links to the Chinese government or that it is collecting data on their behalf, it thrust into the international spotlight after the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on December 1.
Following her arrest, the Chinese embassy, as well as Huawei, called for her release. She is the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei. She was later released on bail by a Canada court but could face extradition to the United States, according to the Canadian Department of Justice.