UK GOV has admitted that the rollout of 5G services in Blighty could be delayed if it places restrictions on controversial Chinese firm Huawei.
Last month, a leaked report - which has since resulted in the sacking of defence secretary Gavin Williamson - revealed that prime minister Theresa May had decided to allow Huawei to provide equipment for "non-core" 5G infrastructure in the UK.
While this news went down well with, er, Huawei, who said it was "pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work", it has faced widespread resistance among ministers who favoured a total ban on the Chinese company's equipment.
These security concerns could halt the supposedly-imminent arrival of 5G services in Blighty, culture secretary said on Wednesday.
"There's certainly a possibility of a delay in the process of the rollout of 5G," said Wright. "If you want to do 5G fastest, you do it without any consideration of security. We're not prepared to do that, so I don't exclude the possibility there will be some delay."
This admission came as Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, reiterated previous US-led warnings that allowing Huawei to have a role in building the UK's 5G network could damage intelligence sharing between the two countries.
In a speech made in London on Wednesday, Pompeo told May in a speech that she will be failing to act like Margaret Thatcher if she allows "state-controlled" Huawei to have a role in building the UK's 5G infrastructure.
"China steals intellectual property for military purposes," he said. "It wants to dominate AI, space technology, ballistic missiles and many other areas. Why would anyone grant such power to a regime that has already grossly violated cyberspace? What can Her Majesty's government do to make sure sensitive technologies don't become open doors for Beijing's spymasters?"
"Insufficient security will impede the United States' ability to share certain information within trusted networks. This is just what China wants - to divide western alliances."
In response to the fired shots, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK would never "compromise" its ability to share intelligence with the US.
This continued friction follows news that Huawei is planning to build a 400-person chip research and development factory outside Cambridge. µ
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