Wireless carriers in Canada will not be allowed to install Huawei Technologies Co (華為) equipment in their high-speed 5G networks, the Canadian government said on Thursday, joining allies in banning the giant Chinese technology company.
China yesterday condemned the ban, describing it as “groundless” and based on spurious security risks.
Canada had been the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling alliance — which includes the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand — not to bar or restrict use of equipment from Huawei in its 5G networks.
“We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE [中興通訊] products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems,” Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said.
Canada’s ban also includes ZTE Corp, one of China’s biggest tech companies and one that is state-owned.
“Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it,” Champagne said, adding that Canada’s wireless companies would not be offered compensation.
Canada’s major wireless companies had already started working with other providers.
“There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities in our defenses,” Canadian Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said.
The government did an extensive review and is redoubling efforts to protect Canadians, he said.
China condemned the move against one of its national champions as a form of “political manipulation” carried out in coordination with the US, which was aimed at “suppressing” Chinese companies in violation of free market principles.
“China will comprehensively and seriously evaluate this incident and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” the Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement posted on its Web site.
The US government has been lobbying allies like Canada for years to exclude Huawei from new ultra-fast 5G mobile networks over worries that Beijing could compel the company to help with cyberespionage.
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