Why Remove Huawei Equipment?
The decision to remove the equipment in the U.K. dates back to the Trump era in the U.S.; however, worries about national security due to Huawei’s possible links to the Chinese state date back much further. For example:
2001 – Allegations from India’s intelligence agencies that Huawei was helping the Taliban.
2003 – A Cisco lawsuit against Huawei in 2003 over the alleged copying of intellectual property (copying of software and violation of patents).
2007 – Concerns over whether a venture between Cisco rival 3Com and Huawei should be permitted due to a perceived lack of transparency in Huawei.
2010 – Concerns after Huawei products and equipment were tested for security holes at a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) in Banbury. The factory-style centre was set up as a partnership between Huawei and the U.K. authorities to ensure that the involvement of Huawei does not compromise the U.K.’s telecoms infrastructure.
2012 – A US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee report flagged the potential for Chinese state influence from both Huawei and ZTE.
2018 – The ‘Five-Eyes’ espionage chiefs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. agreed at a meeting to contain the global growth of Chinese telecoms company Huawei (the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment) because of the threat that it could be using its phone network equipment to spy for China. From here, bans on Huawei Technologies Ltd as a supplier of fifth-generation networks equipment followed in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, plus Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, was detained in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities, for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.