Report also recommends considering moving removal deadline to 2025
The House of Commons Defence Committee says it has found “clear evidence” of collusion between Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party in a new report entitled “The Security of 5G“.
The report gathered evidence from academics and cybersecurity and telecoms experts, while Huawei itself did not provide executives or spokespeople to testify to the committee.
Andre Pienaar, a venture capitalist consulted in the report, said that it had been calculated that the Chinese government had subsidised Huawei to the tune of $75 billion in the last three years, enabling it to undercut competitors with low equipment prices.
The report concluded: “[Huawei] is clearly strongly linked to the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party, despite its statements to the contrary, as evidenced by its ownership model and the subsidies it has received.” Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations of state interference in its operations.
Currently, operators have until 2027 to remove Huawei kit from their networks. However, the report says that the government should consider bringing this date forward to 2025, “should pressure from allies for a speedier removal continue or should China’s threats and global position change so significantly to warrant it”.
Additionally, Strand Consult CEO John Strand told the report that China is responsible for the most cyberattacks by any nation over the past 12 years, and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has designated Huawei a high risk vendor, citing a 2019 report from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre which said that “no material progress” had been made by Huawei to fix technical issues found in a 2018 report.
The committee added that it was in favour of forming a D10 group of allied democratic countries who could provide alternatives to Chinese technology, although detail is scarce as to how this group might be structured.
A Huawei spokesperson said: “This report lacks credibility, as it is built on opinion rather than fact. We’re sure people will see through these accusations of collusion and remember instead what Huawei has delivered for Britain over the past 20 years.”