Huawei fights back against UK 5G criticism with open letter

The letter is part of a new media campaign which marks the company's 20-year presence in the UK

Huawei logo on building

Huawei has written an open letter to the British public that outlines “its commitment to helping bring fast reliable mobile and full fibre broadband networks to every part [of] the country”.

The company has bought out full-page newspaper advertisements to promote its letter as a part of a new media campaign which marks the 20th anniversary of Huawei's presence in the UK.

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Commenting on the open letter, Huawei VP Victor Zhang said that it “underlines Huawei’s ongoing commitment to improving connectivity for everyone in the UK”.

“As a private company, 100% owned by employees, our priority has been to help mobile and broadband companies build a better connected UK. Britain needs the best possible technologies, more choice, innovation and more suppliers, all of which means more secure and more resilient networks. This is fundamental to achieving the government’s Gigabit broadband target by 2025. This is our commitment to the UK.”

Zhang also emphasised the company’s role in the UK, describing it as “integral in building the 3G and 4G networks we all use every day”.

Huawei arrived in the UK in the early 2000s and currently holds 20 offices around the country, employing over 1,600 people.

However, recent criticism of the company and alleged ties to the Chinese government may sabotage its role in building the UK’s 5G infrastructure.

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Earlier this year, MPs successfully capped the company’s involvement at 35%, but it is not impossible that the UK could follow in the footsteps of the US and further limit Huawei’s presence in the country. The Mail on Sunday reported that the PM is looking to increase the UK's role in the Five Eyes intelligence system, which includes the UK, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, in order to reduce Western reliance on companies such as Huawei.

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On Saturday, HSBC joined the Huawei-UK dispute by warning the government that the bank could face reprisals in China if the UK blocks the sales of Huawei’s mobile network infrastructure equipment.

Industry and political sources told The Telegraph that HSBC chairman Mark Tucker had “made the private representations to Boris Johnson’s advisers” in order to influence the prime minister’s decision and make a case in support of Huawei.

Last month, Huawei partnered with Imperial College London to collaborate on a new £5 million technology project which will focus on research into 5G and artificial intelligence (AI). The partnership garnered criticism from conservative MPs opposed to Huawei’s presence in the UK, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

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