Canada Bans China’s Huawei Technologies From 5G Networks | Business News
By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) – Wireless operators in Canada will not be able to install Huawei equipment on their high-speed 5G networks, the Canadian government said on Thursday, joining allies to ban the Chinese technology giant.
Canada had been the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance that did not ban or restrict the use of Huawei Technologies Co. equipment. Ltd. on their 5G networks The United States and other members (Britain, Australia, and New Zealand) have previously banned Huawei.
“We are announcing our intention to ban the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems,” said Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
Canada’s ban also includes ZTE Corp., one of China’s largest and most state-owned technology companies.
Champagne added that “suppliers who already have this equipment installed will have to stop using it and remove it.” He said wireless companies in Canada will not receive compensation.
Canada’s leading wireless companies had already started working with other providers.
“There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit the vulnerabilities of our defenses,” said Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino.
Mendicino said the government has done a thorough review and is redoubled its efforts to protect Canadians.
The U.S. government has for years been pushing for allies like Canada to exclude Huawei from new ultra-fast 5G mobile networks in the wake of concerns that China’s communist rulers could force the company to help with cyberespionage. The United States has warned that it would reconsider the exchange of intelligence with any country that uses Huawei equipment.
The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.
“We are disappointed but not surprised. We are surprised that the government has taken so long to make a decision,” said Huawei spokeswoman Alykhan Velshi. “We see this as a political decision, born of political pressure primarily from the United States.”
Velshi said there will be Huawei teams in Canada for years to come. He said the company has more than 1,500 employees in Canada and two-thirds of them work in research and development.
The development of 5G networks, or fifth generation innovations such as virtual reality, immersive games and autonomous vehicles.
Huawei is the world’s largest provider of network equipment for telephone and Internet companies. It has been a symbol of China’s progress in becoming a global technological power, and a topic of security and law enforcement concerns. Some analysts say Chinese companies have breached international rules and regulations and stolen technology.
China, the United States and Canada completed last year what was a high-risk prisoner exchange involving a senior Huawei executive who had been accused of fraud by the US.
China jailed two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company’s founder, in a U.S. extradition request. They were sent back to Canada in September, the same day Meng returned to China after reaching an agreement with the US authorities on his case.
Many countries have called China’s action a “hostage policy”, while China has described the charges against Huawei and Meng as an attempt at political motivation to curb China’s economic and technological development.
“The decision should have been made two or three years ago, but it’s better late than never,” said Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, about the decision to ban Huawei. “We are facing a much more aggressive China in the conduct of its foreign policy but also in the way it obtains information to achieve its goals.”
Saint-Jacques said that under Chinese law, no company can reject a request from the Chinese government to share information, so it would have been impossible to allow Huawei to participate.
He expects China to retaliate.
“I hope we hear from them soon enough,” he said. “They use trade as a weapon and I suspect that’s what we’ll see in this case.”
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