What you need to know
- The UK government has accused Huawei of colluding with the Chinese state apparatus.
- It has pushed for a removal of Huawei equipment from UK telecoms infrastructure by 2025.
- Huawei says the report is based on opinion and not fact.
Huawei is back in the spotlight again as a UK parliament report published on Thursday accuses it of coordination with the Chinese Communist Party. It says that working with Huawei was a situation that had resulted in the unacceptable situation of "commercial concerns trumping those of national security." Supporting Huawei's expungement from the UK telecoms infrastructure by 2027, it also urged for a sped up the timetable, potentially moving it to 2025 with government support to affected carriers who would suffer financially.
Parliament found that there was "clear evidence of collusion between Huawei and the Chinese state, which supports the decision to remove them from the UK's networks". It did not elaborate on that evidence in the report.
Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said in a statement:
Protecting the public and preserving our nation's security are amongst the principal responsibilities of Government. The decision to embed a technology that compromises this would constitute a gross dereliction of these duties.
The West must urgently unite to advance a counterweight to China's tech dominance. As every aspect of our lives becomes increasingly reliant on access to data movement we must develop a feasible, practical and cost-effective alternative to the cheap, high-tech solutions which can be preyed upon and which come stooped with conditions which ensnare a state into long-term allegiance to China.
Huawei countered the report, saying in its own statement (via ABC):
This report lacks credibility, as it is built on opinion rather than fact. We're sure people will see through these accusations of collusion and remember instead what Huawei has delivered for Britain over the past 20 years.
Hopefully, someone at Huawei doesn't utter the words "it can't get any worse", because if 2020 has taught us anything, if it can — it will.