May 21, 2022
Canada said it would bar Huawei and ZTE, two of China’s largest telecommunications equipment makers, from building its 5G network.
On Thursday (May 19), Canada’s industry minister announced restrictions on Huawei and ZTE.Francois-Philippe Champagne says the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet service，And “to keep Canadians safe.”
But Huawei Canada said it was “disappointed” by the decision, calling it “political.”
“This is an unfortunate political decision and has nothing to do with cybersecurity or any related technology,” a statement said.
Several countries, including the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, have imposed restrictions on the companies.
The four countries, along with Canada, form an intelligence-sharing network called the Five Eyes. The Five Eyes alliance was developed during the Cold War as a mechanism to monitor the Soviet Union and share classified information.
Canada’s decision was expected by many, as its allies have banned Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.
Champagne told reporters in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, that the decision was made after “a comprehensive review by our security agencies and consultations with our closest allies.”
“Let me be clear: We will always keep Canadians safe and will take whatever action is necessary to protect our telecommunications infrastructure,” he said.
“In a 5G world, at a time when our daily lives are increasingly dependent on the Internet, this is the right decision.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday (20th) that China firmly opposes Canada’s decision, will conduct a comprehensive and serious assessment, and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on the same day that the Canadian government made a wrong decision and sent a wrong signal, urging the Canadian side to view China-Canada cooperation objectively and rationally, and immediately stop wrongdoing.
The spokesperson said that Canada’s decision to violate market economic principles and free trade rules will harm the commercial interests of relevant Chinese and Canadian companies, jeopardize the confidence of companies in the two countries to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation, and will adversely affect China-Canada economic and trade relations.
The Chinese embassy in Canada did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment. An embassy spokesman told Reuters Beijing viewed the security concerns raised by Canada as “an excuse for political manipulation”.
The Chinese spokesman also accused Canada of cooperating with the United States to suppress Chinese companies.
In 2020, Huawei sold about C$100 million ($78 million) worth of wireless access network equipment (equipment that connects a cell phone or computer to a network) to Canadian telecommunications companies, Global News reported. .
Huawei Canada said its equipment had come under “rigorous scrutiny” by government and security agencies, adding that “there have been no security incidents with Huawei equipment.”
“Banning Huawei’s equipment and services would result in significant economic damage to Canada and increase communications costs for Canadian consumers,” a statement said.
“Unfortunately, this decision is beyond our control as a business. However, we will do everything in our power to protect the legitimate rights and interests of our customers, partners and ourselves.”
Meanwhile, ZTE said it rejected the “hypothesis” in the Canadian government’s statement, calling it “highly speculative.”
“We have always adhered to international standards and best practices by opening our cybersecurity lab to allow regulators and stakeholders to verify the security of ZTE’s products,” the company said.
5G networks are the future of the mobile internet, offering faster data download and upload speeds. It also allows more devices to access the Internet at the same time. Data usage is soaring with the popularity of video and music streaming, prompting governments and mobile phone network operators to improve their telecommunications infrastructure.
The Canadian government’s decision means Canadian telecommunications companies are no longer allowed to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE.
Shang Pengfei said companies that had installed equipment made by Chinese manufacturers must now remove it.
Canada first announced a review of Huawei equipment in September 2018.
In recent years, the United States and other Western countries have targeted some of China’s largest technology and telecommunications companies over national security concerns.
In November, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill that would prevent companies deemed to be security threats from obtaining licenses for new telecommunications equipment in the country. That means banning the use of equipment from Huawei, ZTE and three other companies in U.S. telecommunications networks.