UK allows Huawei to build parts of its 5G network

The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate, albeit with certain restrictions, in the expansion of the 5G mobile network in the UK. The British government announced the decision on Tuesday. The US had advised Boris Johnson against the move due to the risk of espionage. European media assess the decision also in the light of Friday's Brexit.

Open/close all quotes
Handelsblatt (DE) /

Johnson doesn't want to be Trump's lapdog

Despite Brexit, the British Prime Minister is not putting partnership with the US above everything else, comments Carsten Volkery, London correspondent for Handelsblatt:

“Looked at objectively, the British prime minister needn't have taken so long to consider this: Huawei has been involved in the expansion of the British mobile phone network for years and the company's 5G technology is viewed as the best in the world. ... The fact that the British nevertheless struggled for so long with the decision was largely due to Trump. ... But had Johnson decided against Huawei, he would have been criticised at home for being Trump's lapdog. That's why he has now sent out a self-assertive signal that contains several messages. Firstly: national interests are more important than the 'special relationship' with the US. Secondly: the expansion of broadband is more important than trade. Thirdly, the UK is banking on the best technology.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

In the spirit of James Bond

The British were between a rock and a hard place when it came to deciding on Huawei, Hospodářské noviny comments:

“The British intelligence service assessed Huawei's security standards as poor but found no evidence of state espionage. London does not want to bring Huawei near sensitive places like nuclear power plants or military bases. This is confidence in the spirit of James Bond that they will somehow protect themselves against the Chinese espionage against which the Americans warn . ... The Johnson cabinet has taken a risk and other Europeans could follow its example. ... Competition from democratic countries has so far been more expensive and slower to develop than that from the authoritarian state-supported Huawei.”