Canada Pulls The Tigger By Banning Huawei And ZTE

Canada has finally decided to ban from its 5G network Huawei and ZTE. It remains to be seen if and how the Chinese government plans on retaliating.

Canada Finally Bans Huawei And ZTE From 5G

Canada this week became the latest country to risk tensions with China by banning Huawei and ZTE from their 5G network. While this move is regarded in line with information put out by the country’s intelligence allies, the move will likely lead to strained relations with Chinese authorities.

Canada’s federal government announced the ban on Thursday. The announcement followed several months of talks.

According to Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, the country will not hesitate to take any action if such an action will mean safeguarding the local telecommunications framework.

Huge Loss For Telecoms

Bad news for telecoms providers already using equipment provided by Huawei and/or ZTE is that this equipment will have to be removed without any compensation from the government for wasted costs.

Over recent years, Canadian telecoms providers have spent in excess of CA$700 million on equipment supplied by Huawei.

But while the news comes as a disappointment to Huawei, it isn’t surprising, said a company spokesperson this week. According to Alykhan Velshi, Canada’s decision is viewed as the result of intense political pressure from the United States government.

Huawei has already been banned from several countries, including Australia, Britain, and New Zealand.

Putting Canada First

Canada’s public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, described the decision as an unavoidable step considering growing mistrust in the trustworthiness of Beijing.

Even though Canada had already in 2018 announced a possible security review, further decisions were delayed when Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada on a warrant issued by the United States.

A move largely regarded as retaliatory followed soon after when China arrested two Canadian citizens, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The men were reportedly arrested on a charge of espionage.

After a British Columbia court ordered the release of Meng, China released the two Canadians. Relations between China and Canada have been sour ever since and the bingo Canada offers is possibly the only common ground left.

Deadline Set For Removal

According to a government policy statement posted online, telecommunication providers will have until June 28, 2024, to remove equipment supplied by Huawei and ZTE from their systems.

The statement also contains an order instructing companies to stop purchasing new 4G or 5G equipment from the two suppliers by September this year.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada released a statement of its own in response to the decision. China will reportedly carefully consider the consequences of the decision before taking the necessary measures to protect the interests of Huawei and ZTE.

It remains to be seen whether Beijing will follow through with any sort of significant action and whether Android or Apple will make any moves.

Decision Not Without Risk

Experts are however already warning about the possibility of increased risk for Canadians travelling to China, as well as for Canadian businesses stationed in China.

According to Christopher Parsons, who is a global security and cybersecurity researcher at the University of Toronto, the ban will be regarded as a “slap in the face” by the authoritarian Chinese government.

Canada has been a strong critic of Beijing’s hold on Hong Kong, as well as of China’s treatment of its ethnic Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang province.

The Canadian government has not yet responded to requests for commentary regarding the safety of Canadians currently living in China.

Canada has been a strong critic of Beijing’s hold on Hong Kong, as well as of China’s treatment of its ethnic Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang province.

Author: Dexter Sinistri

Dexter Sinistri is a famously centrist writer who has worked as a Hollywood correspondent for a number of leading publications since 2005. Though once a photographer, Mr. Sinistri struck out as a writer on all things celebrity, and he likes to consider himself a tremendous asset to Glossy News, though by most accounts, he has fallen somewhat short of this effort.

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