By Limin Zhou
“We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE’s products and services in Canada’s telecommunications system,” said innovation minister Francois-Philippe Champagne at a press conference in Ottawa. on May. 20, 2022.
Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE have been banned from Canada’s 5G networks over security concerns that they could assist the Chinese Communist Party with surveillance and intelligence gathering.
It is a decision that critics say is long overdue, but finally aligns Canada with its Five Eyes intelligence partners after years of stalling.
The government statement banning Huawei and ZTE reads that “The Government of Canada has serious concerns about suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE who 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.”
The decision comes after major Canadian telecom companies already opted to use Ericsson and Nokia for 5G infrastructure.
According to the statement, Canadian telecommunications companies will have to:
- stop procuring Huawei / ZTE 4G/5G technology by Sept. 2022;
- cease using Huawei / ZTE 5G technology by June 2024;
- End the use of any Huawei / ZTE 4G technology by December 2027
The Liberal government says it will soon table legislation to further avoid national security risks in the finance, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors.
After Canadian authorities arrested Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on a U.S. extradition request for defrauding a US bank in December 2018, Beijing retaliated by its arbitrary arrests in China of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
The two were freed last September after Meng was released by Canada when she reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.