British telecom companies should show “all due caution” before using China’s Huawei equipment in their 5G networks because the government cannot ignore the warnings from the United States, its digital minister said.
Britain has found itself caught up in the diplomatic row between Washington and Beijing after the Trump administration told allies not to use Huawei’s 5G equipment for fear it could allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data.
Britain’s National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, had agreed in April to allow Huawei restricted access to non-core parts of the 5G network, but that decision has been put on hold following the U.S. intervention.
“Because those decisions have been made by the U.S. relatively recently that means we have to take a step back and think carefully about them before we make our final decision,” Digital Minister Jeremy Wright told reporters.
“What that means for telecoms companies is they’ve got to make their decisions with all due caution. If there is a complete ban on the inclusion of Huawei equipment in 5G networks then of course that means what it says.”