Canada bans Huawei and ZTE from using 5G network
Canada will ban Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and
ZTE from its 5G wireless networks due to national security
concerns, officials said Thursday (https://yhoo.it/3PHLZFd).
The long-awaited move follows the United States and other key
allies, and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa
and Beijing over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on
a US warrant, which has now been resolved.
The United States has warned of the security implications of giving
Chinese tech companies access to telecommunications infrastructure
that could be used for state espionage.
Both Huawei and Beijing have rejected the allegations, while Beijing
warned of repercussions for nations placing restrictions on the
telecoms equipment provider.
The company did not immediately respond to an AFP request for
comment on Canada's ban.
Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Public
Safety Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement at a news
"Today, we're announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion
of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada's telecommunication
systems," Champagne said.
"This follows a full review by our security agencies and in consultation
with our closest allies."
Canada had been reviewing the 5G technology and network access for
several years, repeatedly delaying a decision that was first expected
It remained silent on the telecoms issue after China jailed two
Canadians -- diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael
Spavor -- in what observers believed was in retaliation for the
arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wangzhou in Vancouver
in December 2018 at the request of the United States.
All three were released in September 2021 after Meng reached a deal
with US prosecutors on the fraud charges, ending her extradition
Champagne said Canadian telecommunications companies "will not
be permitted to include in their networks products or services that
put our national security at risk."
"Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required
to cease its use and remove it," he said.
- 'Hostile actors' -
Huawei already supplies some Canadian telecommunications firms
with 4G equipment.
Most, if not all, had held off using Huawei in their fifth-generation
(5G) wirelesss networks that deliver speedier online connections
with greater data capacity, or looked to other suppliers while Ottawa
hemmed and hawed.
Mendicino said 5G innovation "represents a major opportunity for
competition and growth" but "also comes risks."
"There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit
vulnerabilities" in telecom networks, he said.
The United States, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Japan and
Sweden have already blocked or restricted the use of Huawei
technology in their 5G networks.
The US government considers Huawei a potential security threat
due to the background of its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a
former Chinese army engineer who is Meng's father.
The concern escalated as Huawei rose to become the world leader
in telecoms networking equipment and one of the top smartphone
manufacturers, and following Beijing's passage of a 2017 law
obliging Chinese companies to assist the government in matters
of national security.
Canada's two spy agencies had reportedly been divided initially
over whether or not to ban Huawei from Canada's 5G networks
-- one favouring a ban while the other argued risks could be
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications
Security Establishment had been tasked with conducting a
cybersecurity review to evaluate the risks as well as the economic
costs to Canadian telecoms and consumers of blacklisting the
equipment supplier. Huawei was already prohibited from bidding
on Canadian government contracts and core network equipment
such as routers and switches.