The British government is likely to postpone the official announcement that China's Huawei will be providing the equipment for the UK's 5G networks until after the visit by US President Donald Trump, The Sun reported, citing sources. According to them, London is trying to avoid a confrontation with the US president, who is vehemently pushing the UK to ditch the Chinese firm.
Media leaks earlier suggested that Prime Minister May's government has given the green light for the Chinese tech firm to participate in the construction of the non-core structure of the 5G telecom network. The information has not been officially confirmed, but still led to a row between the UK and the US. The leak also sparked an investigation into its origins, leading to the sacking of UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
Washington claims that Huawei is installing backdoors on its equipment under Beijing's guidance so the latter can spy on users worldwide. The company itself denies such accusations and has even offered to sign a so-called no-spy agreement with the countries concerned. Despite this measure, the US has threatened to exclude the UK and other European states from intelligence-sharing programmes if they decide to use Huawei in their 5G networks.
The White House has also undertaken a number of efforts to counter Huawei and other Chinese tech firms in the US, banning the use of their smartphones on US military bases and banning American firms from using their telecom equipment.
Last week, the US government banned American firms from trading with around 70 Chinese companies, including Huawei. This move led to Google ceasing the supply of updates for Android for Huawei and banning its new devices from using Google services, such as YouTube and Maps. Huawei promised to start legal proceeding against the American giant in response. The ban also reportedly cut off the Chinese tech firm from US-based chip producers, such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom.