United Kingdom cybersecurity center isn't too afraid of Huawei, report says

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United Kingdom security chiefs have advised that the risk of using Huawei technology in the new superfast 5G could be contained despite USA warnings about opening the telecoms network up to Chinese cyber-espionage, according to sources.

China's government on Monday accused the United States of trying to block its industrial development by alleging that Chinese telecom gear is a cybersecurity threat.

The US says that Beijing might use Chinese tech companies to gather intelligence about foreign countries. China has returned to the United States market for soybeans in recent months amid a temporary truce between the nations, but grain growers have been anxious to see evidence of demand for other crops.

However the warnings have led multiple nations to investigate or even ban the use of Huawei technology in their 5G networks, including India and Australia, which banned the company's kit a year ago.

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Britain is an important market for Huawei and last month Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile operator, said it was "pausing" the deployment of its equipment in core networks until Western governments give the Chinese firm full security clearance.

The British review "could inevitably serve as an input or a reference point in other countries' risk assessments", he added.

The U.S. Justice Department last month unsealed charges against Huawei, its chief financial officer - who had been arrested in Vancouver - and several of the companies' subsidiaries, alleging not only violation of trade sanctions but also the theft of trade secrets. Last month Meng, who is the daughter of the Huawei founder, was charged with wire fraud that violated US sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. lacks a leading corporate player in the 5G supplier game, fuelling suggestions that Washington's drumbeat of fear is propelled by commercial worries as much as security and legal concerns.

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It will be up to the country's government to decide whether to take the NCSC's advice on board.

While NCSC did not directly comment on the FT report, it reiterated earlier concerns about Huawei's engineering and security capabilities.

"In this context, Huawei has been working with different governments and industry partners to put in place agreed standards, so that people can take those standards to measure how secure the products from all of the vendors are", Xu told Reuters in an emailed statement on Monday. We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make.

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