Canada to ban China's Huawei, ZTE from 5G networks
Ottawa, May 20: Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE will be banned from Canada's high-speed 5G networks, Canadian government officials said on Thursday.
The decision was widely expected, though it had been delayed amid diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Ottawa.
Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said wireless carriers "will not be permitted to include in their networks products or services that put our national security at risk."
"Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it," he said.
Canada cites security concerns
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the innovation "represents a major opportunity for competition and growth" but "also comes risks."
In the 21st century, cybersecurity is national security. And it’s our government’s responsibility to protect Canadians from growing cyber threats.— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) May 19, 2022
Today, we announced our intention to prohibit Huawei and ZTE from Canada’s telecommunications system.
"There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities in our defenses," he said.
Canada's allies in the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling group — the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand — had already banned Huawei.
Huawei, seen as a symbol of China's progress in becoming a technological world power, is a subject of US security and law enforcement concerns.
Washington has lobbied allies to exclude Huawei from 5G mobile networks over concerns that Beijing could pressure the company into cyberespionage. China and Huawei deny the claims.
The decision was first expected in 2019, but the move had been repeatedly delayed amid a diplomatic row between Canada and China over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on a US warrant.
China jailed two Canadians after Canada's arrest of Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer and daughter of the founder, Meng Wanzhou.
All three were released in September.