On April 24, 2019, the news broke that British Prime Minister Theresa May had given a green light in welcoming the help of China’s tech giant, Huawei, to help build a 5G network in the United Kingdom despite warnings from senior ministers and Washington.
The news came in as a surprise when, last month, Britain had just identified “significant technological issues” in Huawei’s engineering processes that pose “new risks” for the nation’s telecommunications.
Reuters reported that Britain would block Huawei from all core parts of the 5G network and access to non-core parts would be restricted.
“In spite of cabinet leaks to the contrary, final decision yet to be made on managing threats to telecoms infrastructure,” Digital Minister Margot James tweeted. Then, she later told Sky News that the decision had not been finally made yet and May would take advice from all of the relevant agencies and departments.
As for the Chinese firm, there was nothing but cheerfulness. Huawei stated that it welcomed the report of the go-ahead towards the building 5G network project in the UK.
“This green light means that UK businesses and consumers will have access to the fastest and most reliable networks thanks to Huawei’s cutting edge technology. While we await a formal government announcement, we are pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work and we will continue work cooperatively with the government, and the industry,” said Huawei.
The action of May might have created tensions with the United States, who had banned Huawei’s 5G technology from its territory, though unable to get a hand on 5G by itself. Furthermore, it also urged allies such as Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand to ban the company, not to mention the order to arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Daughter of Huawei’s founder, in Canada who is currently on a bailout with a tracking anklet.
Although there is still a lot of concern not just in the U.S., but other countries regarding users’ data and privacy, fearing Huawei would have a spy on the device, Egypt said Huawei would roll out 5G phone network for the first time during the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations football tournament.
While facing a ban in the U.S. and possibly its allies, it is undeniable that Huawei is becoming much more powerful than it used to be a year ago. The new P30 phone is a hit in the mobile market with a lower price than Apple or Samsung while the Chinese firm also has an advantage on the 5G technology that the U.S. is currently missing.