The United Kingdom has started ripping out technology from Huawei – a Chinese Communist Party-linked telecommunications firm – from its 5G networks.
The government is launching a seven-year and $700 million task of removing the company’s products, starting in the city of Hull. The country’s biggest network, BT Group Plc, will replace the technology with components from Nokia Oyj.
“We were quite keen to pick one city area and do the whole of that, and make sure that we can really check that we’re not having an adverse impact on customer service,” BT Chief Technology Officer Howard Watson noted. “The signs are really good for that so far.” The process will have to be repeated on 12,000 of BT’s 18,000 mobile masts, rooftops, and other sites.
Bloomberg attributes the move to a “U.S.-led campaign against the Chinese company,” executed forcefully by the Trump administration.
Huawei has extensive links to both the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, prompting the U.S. State Department to identify it as an “arms of the state – or, more precisely, the Chinese Communist Party.” Labeled a “national security threat” by the Trump administration and a decades-long Chinese military collaborator by the U.S. Department of Defense, Huawei routinely provides the Chinese Communist Party backdoor access to its products, networks, and devices.