March 6, 2020 / 8:52 PM / 3 months ago

UK defence committee to probe security of 5G network on Huawei concerns

A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s parliamentary defence committee will investigate the security of the country’s 5G mobile network, the group of lawmakers said on Friday, amid continued concerns about the role of Chinese company Huawei.

In January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to grant Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network, frustrating a global bid by the United States to exclude the firm from the West’s next-generation communications systems.

The security of 5G will now be subject to an inquiry by a sub-committee of the parliamentary defence committee, it said.

Lawmaker Tobias Ellwood, launching the inquiry, said that once 5G was introduced it will be an “unextractable” part of British infrastructure.

“It is paramount that, as we negotiate this new technology, we ask the uncomfortable questions about the possibility of abuse,” he said on Twitter.

Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang said in an emailed statement that the company would work with the committee to answer their questions.

“Over the last 18 months, the government and two parliamentary committees have conducted detailed assessments of the facts and concluded there is no reason to ban Huawei from supplying 5G equipment on cyber security grounds,” he added.

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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