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Technology Decision on giving Huawei access to UK's 5G network apparently delayed again

13:46  31 october  2019
13:46  31 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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The UK's Dec. 12 general election -- brought on by Brexit negotiations -- will delay the country's decision on allowing Huawei access to its 5G network again, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was apparently gearing up to follow predecessor Theresa May's lead and give the controversial Chinese telecom access to "non-contentious" parts of the UK's next-generation wireless infrastructure.

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson may let Huawei access the UK's 5G infrastructure. Peter Summers/Getty Images© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Boris Johnson may let Huawei access the UK's 5G infrastructure. Peter Summers/Getty Images Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson may let Huawei access the UK's 5G infrastructure.© Peter Summers/Getty Images

Boris Johnson may let Huawei access the UK's 5G infrastructure.

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The move would have frustrated US President Donald Trump, who banned Huawei overs its alleged links to the Chinese government.

The UK government observed that some of Huawei's technology isn't available in the West, so Britain's next-generation wireless infrastructure could be left behind if it doesn't do business with the Chinese company, the Sunday Times reported. A decision is unlikely to come before 2020, Bloomberg noted.

  Decision on giving Huawei access to UK's 5G network apparently delayed again © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
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(Adrian Dennis / AFP/Getty Images)

Back in April, a leak suggested that Theresa May and UK's National Security Council would let the scandal-scarred telecoms giant work on "noncore" parts of the infrastructure, resulting in the sacking of defense minister Gavin Williamson. Since then, Johnson has become prime minister, but the political landscape might shift again after the December election.

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In August, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei expressed confidence that the UK wouldn't "say no" to his company's 5G equipment, and praised Johnson as "very decisive." The US actively discouraged its European allies from working with Huawei, and doing so would likely strain the UK's relationship with its ally.

Neither the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport nor Huawei immediately responded to requests for comment.

First published Oct. 28 at 4:27 a.m. PT.

Updated Oct. 31 at 4:25 a.m. PT: Notes reported delay.

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