The British government found that any risk related to using technology from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the next-generation 5G telecom network is manageable, the Financial Times reported, a blow to a U.S.-led campaign to contain the Chinese telecom supplier.
Britain's National Cyber Security Centre concluded that any risks posed by using Huawei technology and equipment in Britain’s telecom projects “can be mitigated,” the newspaper reported, citing two anonymous sources.
The decision came as a growing number of Western nations put the Chinese company under closer scrutiny following allegations by the U.S. that Huawei is a threat to national security. Huawei has repeatedly denied such assertions.
The U.S., Australia and New Zealand have banned Huawei equipment outright for 5G wireless networks while other countries including Japan and Germany are reportedly considering such moves, according to previous media reports.
The conclusion reached by Britain would "carry great weight" with European leaders, the FT reported, citing a source.
"Other nations can make the argument that if the British are confident of mitigation against national security threats, then they can also reassure their publics and the U.S. administration that they are acting in a prudent manner in continuing to allow their telecommunications service providers to use Chinese components as long as they take the kinds of precautions recommended by the British," a source told the newspaper.
Amid setbacks overseas, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei called on the company to proactively face up to the challenges.
“The difficulties are forcing us to make changes,” Ren said. “We need to adjust organizational structure accordingly … and rely more on ourselves.”
Huawei is at the center of an international firestorm since its CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on the behest of the U.S. in early December. Meng is awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. on charges of wire fraud in connection with violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Last month, the U.S. Justice Department filed multiple criminal charges against Huawei and its affiliates, including fraud, obstruction of justice and technology theft. Huawei denied all the allegations.