British cyber-security agency, GCHQ has said that the dangers and opportunities of using Chinese technology must be understood before decisions are made.
In a speech to be made later today, GCHQ director, Jeremy Fleming will underline the importance of stronger security in the telecom industry, and will elaborate on the complexity of the tasks ahead.
Britain is currently under US pressure to avoid using Huawei technology in forthcoming 5G networks for fear that the firm is used as a spying tool by Beijing.
UK mobile companies such as Vodafone, EE and Three have already started working with Huawei on 5G. However, they have to wait for the conclusions of a government study which should arrive in the spring before knowing whether or not to continue with the Chinese firm.
In December 2018, China’s participation in the UK’s technology industry was flagged up as irresponsible by MI6, a stance that contrasts with recently aired views of elements of GCHQ which deemed that any risk element could be managed.
The question of balancing Britain’s supply chain with diversity in the tech industry equipment supplier market will be highlighted by Mr Fleming in his speech today, which will take place in Singapore.
Mr Fleming will say:
“We have to understand the opportunities and threats from China's technological offer - understand the global nature of supply chains and service provision irrespective of the flag of the supplier.”
“Take a clear view on the implications of China's technological acquisition strategy in the West, and help our governments decide which parts of this expansion can be embraced, which need risk management, and which will always need a sovereign, or allied, solution.”
“How we deal with it will be crucial for prosperity and security way beyond 5G contracts. Vulnerabilities can and will be exploited. But networks should be designed in a way that cauterises the damage.”
Britain’s ability to remain competitive will rely upon the development of 5G networks, Gartner research concludes.
Speaking to the BBC, Gartner senior research director, Sylvain Fabre said:
“They are reviewing the situation, in a way that hasn't been done in the past, but it sounds like all options are still on the table.”
In the global context, the US is in the pushing for criminal charges against Huawei and Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer.
The firm’s founder, Ren Zhengfei told the BBC last week that Huawei would continue to invest in Britain, adding: “We still trust in the UK, and we hope that the UK will trust us even more.”
Huawei’s chairman, Guo Ping, has spoken out against accusations coming out of western nations regarding the company’s security reputation.
“Huawei needs to abide by Chinese laws and also by the laws outside China if we operate in those countries. Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any rules and regulations in the countries where we operate,” Mr Guo said, according to AFP.
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