TORONTO — Wireless carriers in Canada won’t be allowed to install Huawei equipment in their high-speed 5G networks, the Canadian government said Thursday, joining allies in banning the giant Chinese technology company.
Canada had been the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling alliance not to bar or restrict use of equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in its 5G networks. The U.S. and the other members – Britain, Australia and New Zealand – previously banned Huawei.
The move was confirmed Thursday by a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.
The U.S. government has been lobbying allies like Canada for years to exclude Huawei from new ultra-fast 5G mobile networks over worries that China’s communist rulers could compel the company to help with cyberespionage. The U.S. has warned it would reconsider intelligence sharing with any countries that use Huawei gear.
The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.
The development of 5G, or fifth-generation, networks will give people speedier online connections and provide vast data capacity to meet ravenous demand as more and more things link to the internet and innovations such as virtual reality, immersive gaming and autonomous vehicles emerge.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. It has been a symbol of China’s progress in becoming a technological world power – and a subject of U.S. security and law enforcement concerns. Some analysts say Chinese companies have flouted international rules and norms and stolen technology.
China, the U.S. and Canada completed what was effectively a high-stakes prisoner swap last year involving a top executive from Huawei who had been charged with fraud by the U.S.
China jailed two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, on a U.S. extradition request. They were sent back to Canada in September, a few days after Meng returned to China after reaching a deal with U.S. authorities in her case.
Many countries labeled China’s action “hostage politics,” while China has described the charges against Huawei and Meng as a politically motivated attempt to hold back China’s economic and technological development.
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