15:14 GMT18 January 2021
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    The new bill could potentially pass into law a ban on a major Chinese telecom firm, blocking the company from building British 5G networks via alleged national security risks, and impose massive fines on firms failing to comply with the government's 2027 deadline.

    Huawei vice-president Victor Zhang has criticised the UK government's telecoms bill introduced on Monday aimed at penalising telecoms for using kit from the Chinese firm, it was found in a statement seen by Sputnik.

    The exec from the world's largest IT equipment provider slammed the move as "disappointing" and "politically-motivated", the statement read.

    ‘’It’s disappointing that the Government is looking to exclude Huawei from the 5G roll out. This decision is politically-motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks," he said in the statement.

    The new legislation did not "serve anyone's best interest" and would move the UK into the "digital slow lane and put at risk the Government's levelling up agenda," Mr Zhang concluded.

    What's In The UK's Telecommunications Security Bill

    The UK government unveiled its Telecommunications Security Bill, which slaps national telecoms with fines up to 10 percent of annual turnover, or £100,000 a day, for repeatedly using Huawei kit under under a "continuing contravention" measure added to the legislation.

    The government will also receive boosted national security powers to order telecoms such as Vodafone, BT, Three and O2, among others, to change policy on using allegedly "high risk" vendors.

    Britain's communications regulator Ofcom will be tasked with the new powers, the UK government wrote in a press release.

    According to Culture secretary Oliver Dowden, the UK was "investing billions to roll out 5G and gigabit broadband" across Britain, but needed to build "full confidence" in the security as well as resilience of national networks.

    “This groundbreaking bill will give the UK one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world and allow us to take the action necessary to protect our networks,” he concluded.

    UK, Sweden Ramp Up 'Tech Nationalism' Amid Criticisms from Researchers, Execs

    The news comes after the UK reversed a key decision to allow Huawei to build British networks in July this year, citing national security concerns and possible disruptions to telecoms supply lines.

    Culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced at the time that British telecoms should remove all Huawei equipment from national networks by 2027 after previously limiting Huawei's network share to roughly 35 percent in January.

    A Telecoms Supply Chain review last July, just before the Huawei ban, slammed British networks for relying on a few telecom vendors.

    Culture secretary of state Jeremy Wright said at the time the country should have a "competitive, sustainable and diverse supply chain" to boost innovation and reduce dependence on individual vendors.

    But to date, numerous organisations and execs from leading global telecoms have slammed decisions from European nations exclude Huawei kit from networks or mid-band 5G spectrum auctions in recent months.

    A Huawei spokesperson said in October it was "surprised and disappointed" by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority after they banned the Chinese firm from 5G spectrum auctions. A Swedish court has challenged the move, delaying the auction.

    Swedish telecom Ericsson's chief executive Borje Ekholm also criticised Swedish regulators on 18 November for blocking Huawei, stating it would restrict free trade and delay 5G rollouts in the nation as well as European Union.

    A top Deutsche Telekom exec warned that national-level measures were slowing down Europe's 5G rollout and were disconnected from the European Union's "wider scope" of telecoms development, echoing findings from a MTS report.

    An Assembly report commissioned from Huawei in October revealed the UK would risk roughly £100bn in economic gains and 350,000 jobs outside London and parts of southeastern Britain over the next ten years.

    A further report from the Centre for Policy Studies also revealed economic losses of £41bn and shortfalls to connecting 11m homes across Britain up to 2027.

    The Trump administration launched its tech war on Chinese telecoms, namely Huawei and ZTE, after designating them as national security risks in May last year.

    The Federal Communications Commission accused the firms of having alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party and military without providing evidence, after they were blacklisted along with over 70 mainland tech companies.

    Related:

    UK's Huawei 5G Ban To Cost Over £41bn, Gov't Urged To Reform Plans Amid COVID-19 Crisis - CPS Report
    UK to Lose £100bn in Economic Gains, 350,000 Potential Jobs Over 10 Years Due to Huawei Ban - Report
    5G Spectrum Auctions Misused to Push Political Goals Amid Wider EU Network Rollout, Policy Head Says
    Europe 'Risks Falling Behind Again' In 5G Rollout Amid Swedish Huawei Ban, Ericsson Chief Exec Says
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