Huawei mounts UK charm offensive as pressure grows - Mobile World Live

Huawei mounts UK charm offensive as pressure grows

08 JUN 2020

Huawei made a vehement public defence against criticism levelled against it in the UK, as authorities faced continued pressure to reverse a decision to allow the company to supply 5G kit to the country’s operators.

During a media call, Huawei global VP Victor Zhang said the vendor wanted to correct misinformation, including questions around its ownership, noting it is “independent from any government, including the Chinese government”.

He expressed confidence the UK would continue to take an “evidence-based approach” to its policies on operator supply chains.

Zhang pointed to Huawei as a “very transparent company” and noted the need for collaboration to mitigate general cybersecurity risks.

He also noted UK government goals of achieving improvements in fibre were already behind due to Covid-19 delays and must now be accelerated, adding full fibre and 5G would “enable economic recovery and industrial revolution”.

Alongside defending its credentials on the call, Huawei took out full-page advertisements in UK newspapers highlighting its role in operator builds of 3G and 4G networks, alongside a commitment to helping achieve government gigabit broadband goals.

The advert, positioned as a letter to the public, read: “For nearly 20 years, we’ve supplied the UK’s mobile and broadband companies with 3G and 4G. But some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G. We want you to know we are as committed as ever to providing your network operator with the best equipment so you can share photos, stream movies, get together online and much more.”

UK fight
Huawei’s public offensive comes as pressure continues to mount on the UK government to reverse a decision to allow operators to deploy Huawei equipment in non-sensitive parts of their 5G networks, subject to a 35 per cent limit.

Since then, pressure from the US for a complete ban on the vendor on security grounds continued unabated, with a number of UK politicians also wading into the issue to call for a government u-turn.

Following the announcement of tighter US restrictions on Huawei last month, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre began a fresh review into the vendor.

UK authorities are also reportedly mulling an alliance with nine other countries to pool resources to develop 5G equipment, reducing reliance on Chinese technology.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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