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Huawei pledges ‘commitment to Britain’ amid ongoing concerns over its 5G role

The Chinese telecoms giant has published an open letter outlining its commitment to the UK, as the Government continues to consider the firm’s role.

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An open letter from Huawei has been published in several national newspapers (PA)

An open letter from Huawei has been published in several national newspapers (PA)

An open letter from Huawei has been published in several national newspapers (PA)

Huawei has said it is committed to bringing better internet connections to all parts of the UK, as the Government reviews the Chinese firm’s role in the country’s infrastructure.

In an open letter, published in several national newspapers on Monday, the Chinese firm said it was “committed as ever” to building internet networks “quickly, affordably and securely”.

The telecoms giant said it has been working in the UK for 20 years and will continue to invest even though “some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G”.

Last week the Prime Minister’s official spokesman revealed that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had launched a review looking at the impact new US sanctions against Huawei could have on the UK’s networks.

We’re here to help you enjoy better, faster connections – quickly, affordably and securely. That’s our commitment to youVictor Zhang, Huawei vice president

Concerns have been previously raised over the company’s role in the UK’s 5G network because of fears over close ties to the Chinese state.

Critics – in particular, the United States – have claimed Huawei’s equipment could be used to spy on people and governments in the West – allegations the company has repeatedly denied.

In January, after a Government review, it was announced Huawei would be allowed to have a reduced role in Britain’s 5G infrastructure, but the company was classed as a “high-risk vendor”, locked out of sensitive parts of the network and told it would be limited to no more than 35% of non-core areas of the network.

This decision was met with anger from Huawei critics in both the UK and the US, with many continuing to urge the Government to rethink the move and remove Huawei entirely.

In recent weeks, however, there have been reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reconsidering the decision, with a new security review now under way.

In its open letter, Huawei said: “For nearly 20 years, we’ve supplied the UK’s mobile and broadband companies with 3G and 4G. But some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G.

“We want you to know we are as committed as ever to providing your network operator with the best equipment so you can share photos, stream movies, get together online and much more.

“We’re also playing our part in creating jobs, training the engineers of tomorrow, investing in new technology and supporting universities.

“We’re here to help you enjoy better, faster connections – quickly, affordably and securely. That’s our commitment to you.”

In a further statement, Huawei vice president Victor Zhang suggested that the Chinese firm was the Government’s best option for meeting its target of providing superfast broadband to all.

“We’ve been here for 20 years and were integral in building the 3G and 4G networks we all use every day,” he said.

“Britain needs the best possible technologies, more choice, innovation and more suppliers, all of which means more secure and more resilient networks. This is fundamental to achieving the Government’s Gigabit broadband target by 2025. This is our commitment to the UK.”

PA