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Canada bans Huawei

Canada bans Huawei

Canada has banned the use of Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE’s equipment in

its 5G networks, its government has announced. In a statement,

cited national

security concerns for the move, saying that the suppliers could be forced to

comply with “extrajudicial directions from foreign governments” in ways that could “conflict with Canadian laws or would be detrimental to Canadian interests.”

Telcos will be prevented

from procuring

new 4G or 5G equipment from

the companies by September this year, and must remove

all ZTE- and Huawei-branded 5G equipment from their networks by June 28th, 2024. Equipment must also be removed from

4G networks

by the end of 2027. “The Government is

committed to

maximizing

the social and economic benefits of 5G and access to

telecommunications services writ large, but not at the expense of security,” the Canadian government wrote in its statement.

The move makes Canada the latest member

of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to have placed restrictions on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in their

communication networks. US telcos are spending billions removing and replacing the equipment in their networks, while the UK banned the use of Huawei’s

equipment in 2020, and ordered its removal by 2027. Australia and New Zealand have also restricted the use of their equipment on national security grounds.

At the core of these concerns is China’s National

Intelligence Law,

which critics claim can be used

to make

Chinese organizations and citizens cooperate with state intelligence work, CBC News reports. The fear is this

could be used to force Chinese tech

companies like Huawei and ZTE to hand over

sensitive information from foreign networks to the Chinese government.

Huawei disputes the claim and says its based on a “misreading” of China’s law. “China will comprehensively and seriously evaluate this incident

and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,

” China’s Canadian embassy said in a statement in response to Canada’s ban.

Canada bans Huawei

Canada has taken around three years to come to its

decision about the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in its telecoms networks

a period which Bloomberg notes has coincided with worsening relations between it and China. In December 2018, Canada arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on suspicion of violating US sanctions. Days later, China imprisoned two Canadian nationals: former diplomat Michael Spavor and entrepreneur Michael Kovrig. After the US came

to a deferred-prosecution deal with Meng that allowed her to return to China

last year,

the Canadians were released.

Opposition politicians criticized the Canadian government’s delay. “In the years of delay, Canadian telecommunications companies purchased hundreds

of millions of dollars of Huawei equipment which

will now need to be

removed from their

networks at enormous expense,

” Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said in a statement reported by the Toronto Sun. But Bloomberg reports that the likes of BCE and Telus have already been winding

down their use of Huawei’s equipment over fears of an eventual ban.

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