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Canada orders the removal of Huawei and ZTE’s 5G equipements from the Country by 2024

Canada’s government has announced that Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE will no longer be used in its 5G networks. It highlighted national security concerns in a statement, stating that suppliers could be forced to follow “extrajudicial orders from foreign governments” in ways that “conflict with Canadian laws or would be damaging to Canadian interests.”

By September of this year, telcos will be unable to purchase new 4G or 5G equipment from the businesses, and they will be required to remove all ZTE and Huawei-branded 5G equipment from their networks by June 28th, 2024. By the end of 2027, all 4G network equipment must be dismantled. “The Government is dedicated to maximizing the social and economic benefits of 5G and universal access to telecoms services,” the Canadian government said in a statement.

With this step, Canada becomes the latest member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to impose limitations on Huawei and ZTE equipment in its communication networks. US telcos are spending billions of dollars removing and replacing Huawei equipment from their networks, while the United Kingdom banned Huawei’s equipment in 2020 and required its removal by 2027. For national security reasons, Australia and New Zealand have similarly limited the use of their technology.

Huawei disputes the claim and says it’s based on a “misreading” of China’s law

“China will comprehensively and seriously evaluate this incident and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” China’s Canadian embassy said in a statement in response to Canada’s ban.

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Alykhan Velshi, a vice president at Huawei Canada called the policy “an unfortunate political decision that has nothing to do with cyber security or any of the technologies in question.”

Canada took three years to decide whether or not to deploy Huawei and ZTE equipment in its telecoms networks, Bloomberg reports, a period that coincided with deteriorating relations between the two countries. Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer, was detained in Canada in December 2018 on accusations of breaking US sanctions. China detained two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Spavor and entrepreneur Michael Kovrig, a few days later. The Canadians were released after the US reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Meng that permitted her to return to China last year.

Opposition politicians criticized the Canadian government’s delay. “In the years of delay, Canadian telecommunications companies purchased hundreds of millions of dollars of Huawei equipment which will now need to be removed from their networks at enormous expense,” Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said in a statement reported by the Toronto Sun. But Bloomberg reports that the likes of BCE and Telus have already been winding down their use of Huawei’s equipment over fears of an eventual ban.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.
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