UK would be "naïve" and "irresponsible" to trust Huawei says think tank

A report from the Royal United Services Institute claims that using the Chinese telecommunication giant's technology to create 5G networks in the UK would be a security risk

20Feb

A UK defense and security think tank has claimed that it would be "naïve" and "irresponsible" of the government to allow Huawei to supply equipment to establish 5G networks in the country.

The report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) undermines advice the UK's National Cybersecurity Center gave to the government late last week which claimed that the risk presented by the Chinese telecommunications giant could be mitigated.

The US recently advised its allies to ban the firm from using its technology to create a 5G network in their countries over concerns the technology could be used for Chinese espionage. The fears stem partly from China's 2017 National Intelligence Law which states that Chinese organizations must "support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work". Responding to the concerns, Germany has pressured Huawei to guarantee it will keep data secure while Australia, New Zealand and Japan have all banned Huawei as a wireless network provider altogether.

"The history of China's cyberattacks shows that an integral part of [Chinese state] interference abroad is getting access to a wide variety of information, whether related to industry, commerce, technology, defense, personal details or politics," read the report.

However, Ryan Ding, president of Huawei's carrier business group, stated that the company "has never and will never" use its equipment to assist espionage activities for the Chinese government.

"Huawei is a closely watched company," he added. "Were Huawei ever to engage in malicious behavior, it would not go unnoticed – and it would certainly destroy our business."

Responding to the US' allegations that the company is a security risk to Western countries, Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, told the BBC: "There's no way the US can crush us. The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit."

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