Britain will enable Huawei Technologies a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network looking for a middle way in an unpleasant argument between the United States and China over the next generation of communication technology.
The world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, Huawei Technologies is under intense scrutiny after the United States told partners not to utilize its technology due to fears it could be a car for Chinese eavesdropping. Huawei has firmly denied this.
A news agency reported Britain's National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, had decided to enable Huawei access to non-core parts of 5G mobile substructure like antennas, in spite of worries from ministers.
A security source told a news agency that Britain would block Huawei from entirely core parts of the 5G network and access to non-core parts would be limited. Another source confirmed that. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.
Britain's compromise could provide a template for others to follow that the world's most important intelligence-sharing network - the Anglophone Five Eyes alliance - could live with. Huawei also welcomed London's move.
Nonetheless, some British legislators stayed opposed.
"Allowing Huawei into the UK's 5G infrastructure would cause allies to doubt our ability to keep data secure and erode the trust essential to Five Eyes cooperation," said Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of Britain's Foreign Affairs Committee.