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Post-Trump era should see UK revisit 5G ban

Victor Zhang has said that the UK should revisit its decision to ban the Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei from its 5G network in the post-Trump era.

Following from the Trump administration, the government announced in July that Huawei would no longer be a controlled 5G supplier, and instead ordered Huawei equipment be stripped out of the country’s 5G networks by 2027. The main reason for this was deemed not be because of security concerns, but an oversight board has since claimed that the Chinese company failed to adequately tackle security flaws in equipment used in the UK's telecoms networks despite previous complaints.

The report, which also flagged that a vulnerability ‘of national significance’ had occurred in 2019 but been fixed before it could be exploited, said that the National Cyber Security Centre had seen no evidence that Huawei had made a significant shift in its approach to the matter.

The US has repeatedly argued that using Huawei's equipment creates a risk of the Chinese state carrying out espionage or sabotage, although this is something the Huawei has always denied.

Zhang, the vice-president of Huawei has told the Guardian, took the tone of saying that the government could not afford to fall behind in the 5G revolution, pinpointing the government’s desire to see a balance of investment between London, the south-east, the Midlands and the north of England.

He said that a three-year delay in the rollout of 5G will ‘widen the north-south digital divide’. He said the ban was ‘a political one motivated by US perceptions of Huawei and not those of the UK’.

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