Reports claim British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is poised to move forward with controversial plan to give Huawei access to the UK’s 5G network, despite ongoing complaints from the US.
The UK has yet to confirm or deny if and when it will open its future 5G network to Huawei, but the move has been sharply criticized by the US.
Months after former British Prime Minister Theresa May ignited a fire storm by endorsing the National Security Council’s plans to give Huawei limited access to non-core parts of the UK’s 5G network, her successor, Boris Johnson, now appears to be carrying out the same plan, despite continued allegations from the US that Huawei is a threat to national security.
This, according to reports, which claim that “Senior sources in Whitehall and the security services say the government is moving towards a decision that will see Huawei allowed access to the ‘non-contentious’ parts of the network.”
When the news of the UK’s original plans to work with Huawei was made public in April, it resulted in the firing of Defense Sectary Gavin Williamson, after he was blamed for leaking the news. But he has adamantly denied the accusations.
Now, because Huawei has been a key supplier for all four of the UK’s major mobile carriers, and because there is a lack of vendors who can provide the same services, the UK plans to work with Huawei so as not to fall behind in the global race to adopt 5G.
However, reports claim the UK will not allow Huawei to provide equipment for the “core layer” of the country’s network, so that it cannot influence data processing, amid national security concerns.
Huawei has repeatedly dismissed accusations from the US that it has ties to the Chinese government, and in August, the founder of the telecom giant said he believes the UK “will not say no” to Huawei. He referred to Prime Minister Johnson as a “very capable person” who has the power to turn the UK into “a huge industrial power.”
Meanwhile, the popular social media music app Tik Tok is also denying that it takes orders from the Chinese government, after US lawmakers accused the platform of allowing Beijing to censor its content and to collect data from its users.
In a statement, Tik Tok said, “We have never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked. We are not influenced by any foreign government.”
It remains to be seen just how the United States will respond to both Tik Tok on a small scale, and to the UK on a much larger scale, but both cases involve issues where the US has made allegations without providing evidence.