China's Huawei to win role in UK's 5G network rollout
The UK will allow Huawei a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network, seeking a middle way in a bitter dispute between the US and China over the next generation of communications technology.
Huawei, the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is under intense scrutiny after the US told allies not to use its technology because of fears it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying. Huawei has categorically denied this.
Britain's National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, met to discuss Huawei on Tuesday.
A security source told Reuters that Britain would block Huawei from all core parts of the 5G network and access to non-core parts would be restricted. A second source confirmed that. "It's essential that we get the balance right, ensuring that our networks are built in a way that is secure against interference from whatever source, but also are competitive," said UK finance minister, Philip Hammond.
The 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper first reported the Huawei decision.
5G, which will offer much faster data speeds and become the foundation stone of many industries and networks, is seen as one of the biggest innovations since the birth of the internet itself a generation ago. In what some have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is worried 5G dominance would give a competitor such as China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept.