Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, Victor Zhang, Huawei’s president of global government affairs, said he was confident that Britain will withstand “politically motivated” pressure from the US and allow the Chinese tech giant to take part in the development of the UK’s 5G mobile internet infrastructure.
“Whatever happens on the political side will not impact Huawei's decision in the UK,” Zhang said, pledging to continue his company’s investment in Britain “because the UK has the advantage of talent and also the R&D environment.”
Singling out “very good communications with the previous [UK] government,” Zhang said he hoped that Huawei “will have very good conversations” with the new British cabinet.
“I believe that the UK government will make the right decision [on the 5G infrastructure development] based on the facts and evidence,” he added.
According to Zhang, Huawei-related issues are related to the ongoing trade war China and the US rather than security.
London Still Undecided on Huawei’s Involvement in 5G Development in UK
The remarks come a few weeks after Huawei’s UK office warned of serious repercussions resulting from London’s possible refusal to allow the Chinese telecoms giant access to Britain’s 5G infrastructure network.
“Evidence shows excluding Huawei would cost the UK economy £7 billion (about $8.7 billion) and result in more expensive 5G networks, raising prices for anyone with a mobile device,” Huawei UK noted on its Twitter page in late July.
The UK Government’s Supply Chain Review gives us confidence we can continue to work with network operators to roll-out 5G and full fibre broadband networks across the UK. #5GisOn— HuaweiUK (@HuaweiUK) July 22, 2019
The statement follows the British government’s decision to delay its decision on whether to include Huawei in the UK’s next-generation 5G infrastructure. UK Culture and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright told parliament that until US policy is “clear” Britain will not make any conclusions on Huawei.
A UK parliament select committee said that it had found no technological reasons for completely banning Huawei equipment from the 5G network.
Committee Chair Norman Lamb urged the UK government “to consider whether the use of Huawei’s technology would jeopardise this country’s ongoing co-operation with our major allies.” The UK government has until the end of August to complete its Telecoms Supply Chain Review and decide on how to proceed.
Trump Weakens Crackdown on Huawei
The developments were preceded by US President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in late June, during which Trump said that American suppliers would get the green light to sell components and spare parts to Huawei if there is no threat to US national security.
In May, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted Huawei Technologies and around 70 of its affiliates, in a move that prompted several major US corporations, such as Google and Microsoft to follow suit and sever ties with the Chinese tech giant.
The US claims that Huawei cooperates with the Chinese government, installing backdoors in its equipment for Beijing's espionage and cyberattacks - allegations that that both Beijing and Huawei have repeatedly denied.