Diplomatique.Expert Insights – Huawei ‘threats’ do not dissuade UK

epa07520861 (FILE) - A view shows a Huawei logo on a Huawei store in Beijing, China, 12 December 2018 (reissued 22 April 2019). According to media reports on 22 April, Chinese telecommunications company Huawei reportedly earned 179.7 billion Yuan (26 billion US dollar) in revenue in the first quarter of 2019, a 39 percent year-on-year increase, despite political pressure from the US to block Huawei's efforts to build 5G networks due to espionage allegations. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

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This article appeared first on this week’s Diplomatique.Expert, CorporateDispatch geopolitics insights journal.

Brexit undoubtedly dominated the news around the world this week, but another issue that took both London and Brussels by storm was the fallout with Chinese multinational company Huawei.

The UK government announced that it was going to allow Huawei to continue to supply telecoms network, particularly the 5G network, despite pressure from the US.

The announcement follows months of public debate in the United Kingdom over how to respond to concerns raised by the US government about potential national security risks posed by Huawei components and the threat of Chinese cyber-attacks. Huawei has denied the allegations and insisted they are unfounded.

However, the UK government did say the company will be banned from “security critical” core areas.

The reaction in London has been quite interesting – the government is united on it, but there has been a bit of backlash from Conservative MPs who were pretty unhappy about the decision. Some believe the government is weighing political and economic arguments against security ones. They also believe that the government has decided that the political interests in rolling out 5G quickly outweigh the security risks.

This might send a message to other European countries that are considering the same dilemma- mainly Germany where there is a heated discussion about 5G going on. The member state reportedly received a US document citing evidence of Huawei spying through its equipment.

The move also means the EU will be getting a competitor on its doorstep.

The move also means the EU will be getting a competitor on its doorstep.

To mitigate the potential cybersecurity risk, the European Commission has given out a toolbox, trying to deal with the matter in a very delicate way. They put together a group of cybersecurity experts to give governments interested in rolling out 5G an array of options. The Commission has heeded the risks by the US and, while they haven’t named Huawei specifically, they have warned that certain international providers may be high-risk.

They therefore invited Member States to try and deal with the potential security threats by giving them a list of guidelines. However, it is up to member states to heed those warnings.

This article appeared first on this week’s Diplomatique.Expert, CorporateDispatch geopolitics insights journal.

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