A delegation of US officials are traveling to the UK in an effort to persuade Britain against using Huawei equipment in the country's upcoming 5G network.
The UK is expected to make its final decision on how to deploy Huawei's equipment in its future 5G networks later this month and according to security minister Brandon Lewis who spoke with the BBC recently, a decision will be made “relatively soon”.
The US delegation will likely include deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke with Reuters.
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The US has made allegations that Huawei's equipment could be used for Chinese state spying and UK ministers will have to decide whether or not they believe these allegations to be valid. At the same time though, industry warnings suggest that banning the Chinese telecom giant outright would cost billions of dollars.
Huawei is the world's largest maker of mobile networking equipment and the Chinese firm has repeatedly denied that its equipment could be used for spying. A company spokesperson has even told UK lawmakers that none of its equipment would be deployed in networks that are used for intelligence sharing.
US Senator Tom Cotton also recently introduced a bill that would prevent the United States from sharing intelligence with any country that would allow Huawei's technology in their 5G networks.
Speaking with the Sunday Times, British defense minister Ben Wallace said that US President Donald Trump and his advisers have even threatened to cut off some intelligence to the UK if the National Security Council doesn't ban Huawei's equipment from its networks, saying:
“It’s not a secret. They have been consistent. Those things will be taken into account when the government collectively decides to make a decision on it.”
Via Reuters (opens in new tab)