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Britain 'believes Huawei 5G security risks can be mitigated'

20 February 2019

The government of the United Kingdom believes it can mitigate the potential national security threat Huawei presents to the country's upcoming 5G networks without banning the use of the company's networking equipment, according to a new report from the Financial Times.

Pence said Huawei and other Chinese telecom equipment makers provide Beijing with "access to any data that touches their network or equipment".

Nokia has 18 commercial 5G radio contracts, so "it is hard to argue that the technical capacity to advance 5G is not available to operators in European countries", Mr Mangan said in emailed comments on Sunday.

The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is still reviewing its policies on the safety of 5G networks, and that "no decisions have been taken". Huawei strongly denies claims its equipment can be used for spying.

A NCSC spokesperson said:"The National Cyber Security Centre is committed to the security of United Kingdom networks, and we have a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber-security". The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that "no decisions have been taken".

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Even Oxford University has cut ties with the company in recent months.

The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in late 2018 set off a global firestorm. Last month Meng, who is the daughter of the Huawei founder, was charged with wire fraud that violated US sanctions on Iran. Huawei did get another round of bad publicity in December 2018, when the company CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on suspicion of bank fraud. That has prompted some industry analysts to suggest Washington is trying to use security concerns to handicap Chinese competitors.

Despite the controversy and the US ban, there hasn't been any publicly available evidence that Huawei has ever spied on the Chinese government.

While NCSC did not directly comment on the FT report, it reiterated earlier concerns about Huawei's engineering and security capabilities.

Britain 'believes Huawei 5G security risks can be mitigated'