Canada bans China's Huawei and ZTE 5G equipment, joining Five Eyes allies
Canada has joined the US and other key allies to press ahead with its long-awaited decision to ban the Chinese telecommunications giants, Huawei Technologies and ZTE 5G.
The Canadian government said Thursday that wireless carriers in the country won’t be allowed to install equipment from Huawei or ZTE in their high-speed 5G networks anymore.
According to the statement, the government expects Canadian companies to stop purchasing new 4G or 5G equipment from the Chinese companies by September this year.
Canada was the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling coalition not to ban or restrict the use of equipment from Huawei Technologies in its 5G networks.
The US and other members including Britain, Australia, and New Zealand had previously banned Huawei.
“We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems,” Canada’s industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told a news conference on Thursday.
"This is the right decision and we are pleased to announce it today because it will secure our network for generations to come.”
Responding to a question about the risk of retaliation from the Chinese government, Champagne didn't indicate that was a factor in the government's decision.
"Let me be clear, this is about Canada, this is about our national security, this is about our telecom infrastructure," he said, dismissing the possible repercussions.
With other countries imposing prohibitions of their own on Huawei and ZTE, major telecom players in Canada have already been making decisions in anticipation of a ban.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been a target of Western powers in their soft war against Beijing.