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Amid Covid-19 mess, PM Johnson plans to cut Huawei's 5G involvement in UK

Johnson has asked officials to make plans to reduce China's involvement in British infrastructure to zero by 2023

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Coronavirus | Huawei | Boris Johnson

Agencies  |  London 

Huawei
Britain decided in January to allow Huawei into what the government said were non-sensitive parts of the network, capping its involvement at 35 per cent

Prime Minister is planning to reduce Chinese telecom equipment maker Technologies' involvement in Britain's 5G network in the wake of the crisis, according to a media report.

Johnson has asked officials to make plans to reduce China's involvement in British infrastructure to zero by 2023, Reuters reported.

Johnson is expected to use less reliance on China as a means to boost trade talks with US President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Britain's departure from the European Union, according to a newspaper.

Downing Street declined to comment. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier on Friday, The Times had reported that Johnson had instructed civil servants to make plans to end Britain's reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports.

ALSO READ: US puts new sanctions on Huawei, restricts company from using its tech

Beijing is being criticised for its handling of the outbreak, which began in China. Beijing denies US allegations it has not been transparent about the outbreak.

"He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China but the deal is going to be significantly scaled back. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei's involvement as quickly as possible," a source was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.

The development would be a change of direction for Britain, which in late April confirmed it would allow Huawei to have a role in building its 5G phone network.

Britain decided in January to allow Huawei into what the government said were non-sensitive parts of the network, capping its involvement at 35 per cent.

The United States has raised security concerns about Huawei equipment, and warned that allies that use it in their networks risked being cut off from valuable intelligence sharing feeds.

First Published: Sat, May 23 2020. 10:53 IST
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