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UK defence minister says he has grave concerns about Huawei

UK defence minister says he has grave concerns about Huawei

The US has claimed the Chinese government under Xi Jinping (inset bottom) used Huawei devices to spy on American companies.

The potential ban of Huawei and ZTE in the USA may also add fuel to the fire of the simmering trade war between the world's two biggest economies, as Beijing and Washington discuss ways to resolve it.

Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE may soon be the subject of a new executive order penned by President Trump.

Gavin Williamson is the first United Kingdom cabinet minister to speak out against the telecoms giant, according to British newspaper The Times, which reported Thursday that he believed using Huawei's 5G equipment may enable Chinese espionage.

The intelligence services of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Germany have all rejected 5G equipment from Huawei after voicing similar concerns about its links to the MSS - the Chinese Communist Party's powerful intelligence and security agency.

"This in reality is undoubtedly shutting oneself off, rather than being the door to openness, progress and fairness".

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China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not want to comment on speculative news.

Meanwhile Pelham Smithers, managing director of Pelham Smithers Associates, told "Squawk Box Europe" Thursday that it was "very dangerous" to put Huawei equipment into 5G infrastructure. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

While the administrative branch of government does have the power to prevent purchases of equipment, it's unclear if it has the power to force companies to remove existing equipment. The executive order doesn't name Huawei and ZTE, instead, it directs Commerce Department to block US companies from buying equipment from foreign telecommunication makers that pose major national security risks.

The FCC is also considering whether to require carriers to remove and replace equipment from firms deemed a national security risk.

It said however, that it would still use some of the company's equipment for products deemed to not be at the core of the network. The ban on Chinese equipment would also entail millions of dollars in transition costs for the telecom players who have been using the Chinese equipment.

2019 looks set to be a challenging year for Huawei, as questions are raised about the security of its network products.