China’s government widely condemned a UK decision to block Huawei from 5G networks, with the Ministry of Commerce declaring the discriminatory practice runs counter to free trade principles, China Daily reported.

The UK government banned the use of Huawei kit in next-generation networks earlier this week, reversing a previous decision allowing limited participation.

China Ministry of Commerce representative Gao Feng expressed strong opposition to the u-turn, noting it will take “necessary measures to safeguard Chinese firms’ rights and interests”, the newspaper stated.

Gao said the decision violates WTO rules and will harm Chinese investors’ confidence in the UK.

During a press briefing yesterday (16 July), Foreign Ministry representative Hua Chunying said the decision showed the UK had “lost its independence…and compromises its own interests”.

Hua noted Huawei provided services in more than 170 countries and no country has presented any evidence showing security threats or backdoors in its products.

The US government this week ramped its campaign against Huawei, setting new visa restrictions on employees working for the vendor and other Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights abuses.