That goes another blow to the already struggling infrastructure companies.
In a recently announced policy statement by the Canadian government, Huawei and ZTE, as well as other Chinese telecommunications companies are barred from working with Canadian 5G infrastructure technologies starting September of this year, citing intelligence and espionage threats over Canadian citizens and military.
“We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems,” Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said.
Canada is part of the Five Eyes Alliance which also includes the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Canada is the last of the five to ban ZTE and Huawei over fears of espionage.
Champagne has also demanded that Canadian telecommunications companies remove any trace of ZTE or Huawei 5G technologies in their infrastructure by 28 June 2024. They, unfortunately, won’t be compensated for doing so. 4G equipment from the two companies must be removed by 31 December 2027.
“This is the right decision and we are pleased to announce it today because it will secure our network for generations to come,” Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne told a news conference Thursday.
ZTE and Huawei could be “compelled to comply with extrajudicial directions from foreign governments in ways that would conflict with Canadian laws or would be detrimental to Canadian interests.”
Early in 2018, Canada has already been reviewing the possible national security threats imposed by Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies. Then in December, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in the country on a US warrant. In retaliation, the Chinese government has arrested two Canadians over accusations of espionage. This severed diplomatic ties with China, and was partially relieved thanks to Meng’s release last September.
The Canadian government has also stated that they are committed to maximizing the social and economic benefits of 5G technologies but without risking the safety of its citizens. The government will continue to uphold Canada’s security interests.