Lawmakers in the UK have urged the country to speed up the removal of Huawei’s equipment from its 5G mobile infrastructure. The UK’s Defence Committee has published a lengthy report, urging the government to look if the ban can be pushed from 2027 to 2025. Officials say that there is “clear evidence” of collusion “between the company and the Chinese Communist Party apparatus.” It also recommends that other nations work together to rebuild the information technology manufacturing capacity that was lost when so much of this industry was originally outsourced to China.
The report begins by listing the usual attack lines against the company, including founder Ren Zhengfei’s Communist Party membership and work for the People’s Liberation Army. (Something that Huawei has long since claimed are not relevant to his entrepreneurship.). It adds that, as a Chinese company, it could be asked to conduct espionage in compliance with the country’s 2017 National Intelligence Law. And that while the UK’s National Cyber Security Center had “not seen any specific evidence” of hostile acts, its “standing assumption” is that Huawei will insert backdoors into its products. Previous reports have pointed out flaws in Huawei’s engineering that, while not intentional backdoors, could be used in that manner.