US Huawei decision will affect UK’s approach to 5G

The treatment of Huawei Technologies Co. by the U.S. and other countries will inform how Britain approaches the Chinese technology giant’s role in the next generation of 5G phone networks, the U.K.’s digital minister said.

While telecom carriers are impatient for the U.K. to take a decision on the matter, there are “number of factors to take into account, some of which are outside our shores,” Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said on Tuesday.

Speaking at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think conference in London, Wright said the U.S. administration is making “judgments in a hugely interconnected telecoms world” so that what the “American administration decides to do will have an impact on what we consider when we come to think about Huawei.”

President Donald Trump recently blacklisted Huawei, branding it a national security threat over spying concerns. The move threatens to cut off the supply of American components the company needs to make its smartphones and networking gear.

The U.S. has been pressing allies like the U.K. and Canada to ban Huawei from new 5G telecommunications networks, including by threatening to limit intelligence-sharing — only for Trump to say last week the step wouldn’t be necessary with Britain.

The U.K. is near the end of a review of its telecom supply chain. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in April that Britain is poised to toughen the rules under which Huawei operates in the country, while stopping short of an outright ban.

Now read: Western Digital cuts ties with Huawei

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US Huawei decision will affect UK’s approach to 5G