Huawei Technologies Co. will not be part of the U.K.’s 5G telecoms networks in the long term, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told Parliament, adding that he welcomes approaches from alternative vendors including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and Japan’s NEC Corp.
Questioned by Parliament’s Defence Committee on Tuesday, Dowden conceded that “ultimately” Huawei equipment wouldn’t be used. “But there is a big difference as to the path to getting to that point,” he said.
Boris Johnson’s government announced in January that Huawei would be allowed to supply equipment for the U.K.’s 5G networks. At the time, officials argued that bans on Huawei’s use in sensitive geographic areas and “core” technical components would sufficiently mitigate any risks, while still allowing Britain to take advantage of the new technologies it will enable.
The decision to allow the Chinese company into the networks outraged not just U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration but also Members of Parliament in Johnson’s own Conservative Party.