Ottawa Canada joins the other members of the “five Eyes Alliance”, the USA, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and wants to exclude Chinese network equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE from 5G expansion due to security concerns. “We intend to take them out,” Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told journalists on Friday night.
The use must be discontinued and the products removed by June 2024. With 4G, they would have until the end of 2027. There will be no refunds. While Canadian mobile operators such as Bell Canada and Telus have used Chinese equipment for the 4G network, Ericsson, Nokia and other providers have been used for 5G.
The decision had been expected internationally, but had been repeatedly delayed. The other four countries of the intelligence alliance “Five Eyes” have long excluded Huawei and ZTE because of possible risks to national security.
Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have been strained since the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in 2018. In the meantime, she is at large again.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Canada described the reference to alleged security concerns as an excuse for political manipulation and accused Canada of working with the US to suppress Chinese companies. Canadian Huawei executive Alykhan Velshi told Canadian Broadcasting Corp that his company continues to wait for an explanation of what security risks Huawei poses.
The US accuses Huawei of being a gateway for espionage by the Chinese state, which the company rejects. Huawei employs about 1,500 people in Canada. ZTE was initially unavailable.