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Boris Johnson approved the Chinese company having a limited stake in the UK’s 5G development in January. Chinese hi-tech company Huawei has defended its role in the development of 5G in the UK. The move comes after a Tory backbench attack on the company’s involvement in the roll-out of the advanced system in the UK.
The London School of Economics (LSE) is reportedly in talks with Huawei over the Chinese company funding a three-year study on its “leadership” in the development of 5G technology. The university confirmed to the Financial Times (FT) that “commercial negotiations” were ongoing, but no final agreement or payment had been made.
Boris Johnson has paved the way for Chinese firm Huawei to have a limited role in the UK’s 5G network, in a move that will set up a diplomatic clash with the US. The National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister on Tuesday decided that “high-risk vendors” should be permitted to play a peripheral role in the network. But advice issued to telecoms operators by the National Cyber Security Centre said such vendors should be barred from all safety-related and critical networks.
Boris Johnson said he would not risk Britain’s security when upgrading the nation’s 5G communications network – but said critics of Chinese technology firm Huawei must come up with an “alternative” provider. In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said he did not want to “prejudice” the country’s ability to share intelligence with allies in the so-called Five Eyes arrangement – a collaboration between the UK, Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand – as a result of the improvements he had promised voters in his election manifesto.
The head of MI5 has said he has no reason to think Britain’s intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States will be damaged if the Chinese tech giant Huawei is given access to the UK’s 5G network. The Government has come under intense pressure from the US administration not to allow Huawei a role in building 5G network amid fears that granting a Chinese firm access to the communications network could be a security risk.