Trump tipped to ban Chinese telecom equipment ahead of MWC

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Huawei has warned MPs it could take up to five years to resolve issues in its devices raised by United Kingdom security officials last year.

The Chinese firm, which has earmarked $2bn (£1.5bn) for the process, outlined the timetable in a letter to MPs.

"Cyber security remains [a] top priority" for Huawei, the world's biggest manufacturer of telecom equipment, he said, while cautioning that the improvements would take time.

Following allegations made by the U.S. government, officials from around the world have been omitting Huawei from network infrastructures in fear of surveillance.

Huawei has since committed to spending $2 billion in a drive to fix those problems, but in a letter to lawmakers last week, Ryan Ding, president of the company's carrier business group, said it would take up to five years to see results.

This has sparked fears Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate "backdoors" into their equipment that would allow Beijing access, for spying or sabotage purposes. Australia and New Zealand have joined the USA in banning the use of Huawei products in their 5G mobile networks.

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'Huawei has never and will never use UK-based hardware, software or information gathered in the United Kingdom or anywhere else globally, to assist other countries in gathering intelligence. He urged European countries to pick Finnish and other Scandinavian companies for their 5G contracts, citing a Chinese law that allegedly compels any private company in the country to cooperate with the government "on any intelligence matters in secret and without refusal". This has raised fears that Chinese-made equipment could present a security risk particularly if used in the construction of new 5G networks.

Abraham Liu, Huawei's chief representative to European Union institutions, said cybersecurity is a "technical issue instead of an idealogical one", and as such, can be resolved "through the right solutions". "Were Huawei ever to engage in malicious behaviour, it would not go unnoticed - and it would certainly destroy our business", continues Ding.

British authorities have not found any evidence of spying using Huawei equipment.

USA charges of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran have since been issued against the company, sparking new tensions in relations between the United States and China. It also recently hit Huawei and its chief financial officer with charges of bank fraud, obstruction of justice and intellectual property theft.

But dumping the telecom company comes at a cost as experts say Huawei is between six months and one year ahead of rivals in terms of the quality of 5G equipment.

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