UK Prime Minister Theresa May has consented on allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to assist in the building “non-core” parts of the nation’s 5G infrastructure, which includes antennas and other network components. The decision was made by the National Security Council, which May is presiding, and has drawn large criticism from other UK politicians who are worrying that Huawei’s alleged ties to the Chinese government might open British citizens, companies, and government agencies prone to cyber attacks and other forms of surveillance.
GCQQ head Jeremy Fleming, who has cautioned against cyber threats from China and Russia in the past, gave a speech in Glasgow, Scotland to members of the intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US intimidating against such threats from foreign adversaries.
Other members of GCHQ have shown concern over the use of Chinese telecommunications providers. However, the organization’s official position seems to be that the threats can be managed and reduced because of Huawei’s involvement focusing on “non-core” network infrastructure.
The decision is a significant departure from other members of the very alliance that Fleming addressed on Tuesday. The Trump administration has tried pressuring allies to halt using Huawei equipment after prohibiting domestic government agencies and contractors from using the Chinese companies’ products in official work volume.
Australia and New Zealand have also prohibited Huawei products from working on domestic telecom infrastructure projects in the respective nations; whereas New Zealand has gone so far as to stop a domestic company from using Huawei equipment as part of its nationwide 5G rollout.
Huawei repudiates any involvement with its nation’s government and asserts the reach of the PRC does not extend beyond China’s borders. However, there is enough evidence that China, along with Russia and Iran, has spent years attacking foreign military and corporate infrastructure for stealing trade secrets and to spy on rival nation’s business-related endeavours.