Huawei concerns not about China, says United Kingdom security chief

Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for the next generation of mobile phone networks but several Western nations have banned the Chinese company's products over security concerns

The UK government is now looking at the issue of 5G security with a review expected to be published in the spring which could include a decision on whether Huawei technology can be used in future 5G networks.

Bloomberg has reported that the "nightmare scenario" for telephone companies would be if they have to remove Huawei equipment from their systems.

Experts say Huawei networks are generally cheaper than those of competitors and are of a high quality, making it a hard decision for governments and telecom operators to shun the supplier altogether.

"It's not a question of trust China".

He wouldn't be drawn when asked if the situation would be different were the technology provider owned by a country like the UK, US or Australia.

"Because of these intelligence laws, we have to deal with risk assessment". If it chooses to allow the use of Huawei gear, it could seriously undermine the USA campaign against the company and influence other governments that are weighing how to handle the issue.

"I think if you look at the rest of the relationship that New Zealand has with China in terms of trade and things getting across the border and tourists coming here and students coming here it hasn't made a blind bit of difference".

While countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan, have excluded the Chinese telco from supplying components for their 5G networks, the German interior ministry told CNBC it is not ready to ban the company as "a direct exclusion of a particular 5G manufacturer is now not legally possible and not planned". Furthermore, Huawei's technology tends to be cheaper than European or US technology for networks.

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But the company has come under fire in Britain since a government report in July past year found that technical and supply-chain issues with its equipment had exposed national telecoms networks to new security risks.

Ren Zhengfei told "CBS This Morning" that the allegations that he is coordinating with Chinese intelligence officials or unwittingly supplying them with eavesdropping tools are not based on facts.

"So, this is a model of open collaboration between the United Kingdom government and Huawei to address the concerns around Huawei equipment deployed in United Kingdom networks", Xu said.

Other operators in Europe, including Britain's BT and France's Orange, have already removed Huawei's equipment or taken steps to limit its future use.

He noted that the NCSC had been "blunt about Huawei's shortcomings in security engineering and its general attitude to cyber security", noting that its failures were not unique, and that Huawei had promised to "address the criticisms and to spend huge sums doing so".

Martin said the issues his agency identified relate to cybersecurity standards and are "not indicators of hostile activity by China".

But he insisted the NCSC is closely monitoring Huawei and said it would not give the all-clear unless there is sufficient evidence.

The United States has urged its allies to boycott Huawei technology over the alleged security threats that might compromise foreign communications networks.

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