Here’s what you should know about the Huawei ban and how it will affect you.
Yesterday, the UK followed suit of the U.S. and banned Huawei from its 5G network, escalating tensions between China and the West.
The UK’s digital secretary Oliver Dowden announced that their telecom networks will no longer purchase new Huawei 5G kits starting at the end of December. Mobile networks in the UK should have all Huawei equipment removed by 2027.
The United States moved to ban Huawei in May and the Trump Administration cited security threats like spying as the reason for the controversial move. Huawei denied the allegations. The U.S. since called for members of the Five Eye Alliance, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, to avoid the Huawei kit.
Today, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions on the employees of tech companies in China, including Huawei. "Companies impacted by today's action include Huawei, an arm of the CCP's surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China," he said.
Under the visa restriction, certain employees will be ineligible for entry into the United States. Their eligibility will depend on whether the Pompeo believes the individual entering, “would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.”
Pompeo doubled down on banning Huawei. "Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers," the Secretary of State warned.
China’s Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, tweeted, “disappointing and wrong decision by the UK on #Huawei. It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries,” in response to the ban.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying slammed the UK during a press conference today. “Does [the UK] want to act in its own way of its own volition or is it OK with being a subordinate and a cat's paw for the U.S.?” she said.
Huiyao Wang, advisor to the Chinese government, told BBC, "it goes against the UK tradition as the open liberal leader in free trade… This is going to probably have very negative implications.”
Donald Trump took credit for the UK’s move to ban Huawei, stating, “we convinced many countries, many countries - and I did this myself for the most part - not to use Huawei because we think it's an unsafe security risk, it's a big security risk,” during his Rose Garden event. “I talked many countries out of using it: if they want to do business with us, they can’t use it. Just today, I believe that the UK announced that they’re not going to be using it,” he added.
If you own Huawei products, they will continue to work. However, the ban does not allow for Huawei to manufacture its own chip design so improvement to its hardware will be much slower. Additionally, Google services such as the voice assistant or the Google Play Store will no longer work with Huawei products.
Telecom companies Vodafone and Three, in addition to the largest mobile network operator in the UK EE, must now replace its equipment with another vendor as they all released 5G services. The 5G services will still be available, but some parts of the country may have a delay in receiving it.
Sign up for The Pavlovic Today Newsletter featuring news, scoops, exclusive interviews and expert analysis