Canada announced on Thursday that it would ban China’s Huawei and ZTE’s 5G technology from the country’s networks, citing national security concerns.
Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said that companies that previously installed this 5G equipment will be required to stop and remove it by June 2024. Those companies installing 4G equipment from Huawei and ZTE must remove it before 2028.
He added that the Canadian government would not reimburse the cost of the removed equipment.
The move signals that Canada is joining with its Western allies, the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, to ditch China’s giant telecom. Canada was the last member to prohibit Huawei’s equipment in its 5G networks. Other members, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and the U.S., had already banned Huawei.
5G technology, or fifth-generation for broadband cellular networks, gives users faster online connections and enormous data capacity.
For years the U.S. government has urged its allies in the Five Eyes alliance to remove China’s Huawei from new 5G wireless networks over cyberespionage concerns from the Chinese regime.
Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, told AP, “the decision should have been taken two or three years ago, but it’s a case of better late than never.”
According to Reuters, Canada said in September 2018 that it would review the potential national security threats in Huawei equipment.
Then a long-run stand-off between Canada and the Chinese regime occurred when in December 2018, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on a U.S. extradition request. China immediately put two Canadians in jail after Meng’s arrest.
Canada’s dispute with China eventually ended last September with Meng’s release after negotiating a deal with U.S. authorities.
Reuters reported that two of the most prominent Canadian wireless providers, Bell Canada and Telus, teamed up with Ericsson from Sweden and Nokia from Finland to build 5G mobile networks, eliminating Huawei despite using Huawei 4G equipment.