UK to reduce Huawei's involvement in 5G network

Illuminated Huawei and 5G signs are on display during the 10th Global mobile broadband forum hosted by Chinese tech giant Huawei in Zurich on October 15, 2019. (File Photo)

Britain will reduce Chinese tech giant Huawei's controversial involvement in its 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green light to Huawei's participation in January, despite widespread domestic opposition and pressure from the United States.

But he has now instructed officials to draft plans that would see China's involvement in Britain's infrastructure end by 2023, according to the report.

Washington has pushed hard for countries to bar Huawei from building their next generation 5G mobile networks, claiming its equipment can be used to spy for Beijing.

Johnson is due to meet US President Donald Trump next month for the G7 summit, with Britain hoping to scale up talks over a bilateral trade deal.

MPs in Johnson's own party have led the charge against Huawei's involvement, a movement that has gathered pace following China's actions during the coronavirus crisis.

"He has taken a great many soundings from his own MPs on this issue and shares their serious concerns. The deal was struck before the pandemic hit but coronavirus has changed everything," an unnamed source told the paper.

Downing Street said they would not comment on the latest report.

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Last Update: Saturday, 23 May 2020 KSA 18:21 - GMT 15:21