Trump and UK PM May to discuss Huawei ban as firm limits US contact
President Trump and UK PM Theresa May will discuss a Huawei ban during a state visit, as firm limits contact with Americans.
Theresa May will step down as PM on June 7th but will be in her post for Trump's visit. As the UK is a crucial US security partner, May's government has been under pressure from Trump's administration to ban Huawei over national security concerns.
A leak from a National Security Council meeting last night month suggested May's government was minded to allow Huawei's equipment in non-core parts of 5G networks. The leak prompted a threat from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it would result in reduced security cooperation between the long-standing partners.
"Insufficient security will impede the United States’ ability to share certain information within trusted networks,” Pompeo said. “This is just what China wants – to divide Western alliances through bits and bytes, not bullets and bombs.”
UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright responded to Pompeo’s comments that no decision has yet been made. If deemed necessary, Wright does not rule out a delay to 5G’s rollout to protect national security.
Huawei was added to a US ban list earlier this month, resulting in a severe impact on both its B2B and consumer businesses. The company is set to be cut off from access to Google's services and Android updates, ARM and Qualcomm’s chips, as well as exiled from the SD Association, WiFi Alliance, and the IEEE.
Amid the escalating tensions, Huawei has requested its employees to cancel all meetings with US contacts. Meanwhile, American workers at Huawei's headquarters in China have been told to remove laptops and leave the premises. Visitors to Huawei's campuses are being checked for American passports.
Trump and May's discussion over the fate of Huawei in the UK is scheduled for June 4th.
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