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Canada bans Huawei from 5G



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government joined Canada’s closest intelligence allies in banning Huawei Technologies Co. from the fifth-generation wireless networks.
The Chinese state-championed telecommunications firm poses a threat to Canada’s national security, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. ZTE Corp. equipment will also be prohibited.
Firms that already have Huawei or ZTE gear installed will have to remove it by the end of 2027, Champagne’s department said in a statement. Trudeau’s government had delayed the decision for more than three years, as relations between Canada and China deteriorated, and a ban would almost certainly stoke tensions.
The long-awaited announcement will be welcomed by President Joe Biden’s administration, which has sought to steer countries away from Huawei. American officials allege its gear could allow the Chinese government to interfere with 5G networks. Since 2019, the US has imposed what may be the strongest sanctions it has ever placed on a single company.
Relations between the two nations soured dramatically after Canada’s arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition request in December 2018. China imprisoned two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Spavor and entrepreneur Michael Kovrig, within days of Meng’s arrest.
The high-stakes standoff was resolved last September after the US struck a deferred-prosecution deal with Meng, allowing her to return to China and for the two Canadians to come home.
The Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement the blacklisting was groundless and violated free trade and market principles.
“China will take all necessary measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies,” it said.
The move, however, should not pose big challenges for companies like BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. that have used Huawei equipment. Fearing an eventual ban, the two companies have already begun to exclude the state-championed Chinese firm from their 5G build-outs. BCE and Telus didn’t respond to requests seeking comment.
But the feud has left hard feelings. The announcement comes only three days after lawmakers voted to revive a special committee to study the country’s ties with China. The Canadian government announced that China had lifted restrictions on canola imports.

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