The move follows US President Donald Trump’s addition of Huawei to a US trading blacklist, which effectively bans Huawei from doing business with American firms.
Google's spokesperson said the company was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications”. Huawei has issued a response, saying that it “will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally”.
The news comes after last week Liang Hua, Chairman of Huawei's Board of Directors, said that the company is ready to sign so-called ‘no-spy agreements’ with the governments of Western countries, including the UK. According to Liang Hua, Huawei is promising to bring their equipment in line with international standards. That is, regulations that ban espionage with the help of installed equipment, as well as not allowing software bookmarks in it and no-backdoors standard.
Western media that reported on Huawei's offer noted that the Chinese telecoms giant currently has the most advanced, least expensive 5G equipment in the world. They also drew attention to an exchange between the UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, and the head of Huawei.
The British cabinet minister said that the advantages of cheap equipment would not trump security concerns. Liang Hua replied by saying that cyber-security is indeed an important factor to consider when making a decision, “but at the same time it should be a balanced solution between cyber security and economic prosperity”.
Oleg Matveychev, a Russian political scientist and professor at the Higher School of Economics, believes the allegations that Huawei's new 5G networks could become a means of espionage is a pretext to prevent the Chinese company from entering foreign markets. According to him, all of the Western nations will react differently to Huawei's initiative.
“There won't be a common reaction, countries will be divided here, different governments will act differently. Those governments that resort to protectionism to protect their companies, they, in principle, don't want anything from Huawei. But most will take advantage of this offer and will conduct the relevant certification of the Chinese company's equipment”.
The Russian expert's point of view is shared by the Assistant Director of the Centre for Regional Security Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Dr. Yang Danzhi.
Kira Godovanuk, from the Institute of Europe at the Russia Academy of Sciences, said that the UK hasn't yet made its final decision on whether to allow the Chinese tech firm to have access to its market and whether to include Huawei technology as it builds out its 5G network.
According to the latest information, within the UK cabinet, there is a consolidated opinion that the creation of a 5G network is impossible without cooperation with Huawei. The company is seen as the only tech giant that can provide a breakthrough for the UK’s digital economy, the expert said.
“This is a very sensitive issue; I believe that the UK will try to manoeuver between the United States and China. It doesn't want to confront China, and is very interested in cooperating with China. At the same time, it's under very heavy pressure from the United States. Perhaps Jeremy Hunt’s statement was triggered by, among other things, recent talks with Mike Pompeo. At the same time, Hunt is openly demonstrating his ambitions to become the leader of the Conservative Party in the event of Theresa May’s resignation. So the Huawei issue also affects the internal political situation. Therefore, my prediction is that the UK will try to come up with some kind of a balanced solution, which to some extent will support US policy and at the same time won't cause resentment in China”.
Huawei has already signed more than 40 commercial 5G deals: 25 in Europe, 10 in the Middle East and six in Asia.
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