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Canada to ban China's Huawei, ZTE from 5G

May 20, 2022

Canada's government has said it will ban the use of the two Chinese telecommunications giants' 5G gear due to national security concerns. The move follows similar restrictions in other Western countries.

View of a store of Huawei in Beijing
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companiesImage: Zhao Xiaojun/dpa/picture alliance

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." 

"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 United States, the United Kingdom, 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 have denied 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 Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.

China subsequently jailed two Canadians after the arrest. All three were released in September.

Canada and China free detainees after US deal: Studio talk with DW's Clifford Coonan

fb/sms (AFP, AP)