UK minister says Huawei must meet conditions for involvement in 5G network

Matt Hancock
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Updated 06 July 2020

UK minister says Huawei must meet conditions for involvement in 5G network

  • Matt Hancock said the initial recommendation had always been conditional

LONDON: China’s Huawei has clear conditions to meet for Britain to continue to allow its involvement in the development of 5G telecoms infrastructure, Britain’s health minister said on Sunday, after a report that the firm would be banned from the project. Officials are drawing up proposals to stop installing Huawei Technologies equipment in as little as six months, the Sunday Telegraph reported, in a reversal of a decision earlier this year.

Health Minister Matt Hancock declined to comment on it specifically but said the initial recommendation had always been conditional.

“I wouldn’t comment on leaks of that kind. What I can say is that when we came out with an interim report on this earlier in the year, there are a number of conditions that needed to be met,” he said.

“I’m sure that the National Security Council will look at those conditions, and make the right decision on this, to make sure that we have both a very strong telecoms infrastructure ... but also that it is secure.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced intense pressure from the US and some British lawmakers to ban the telecommunications equipment maker on security grounds.

On Tuesday he toughened his rhetoric on Huawei, warning China he would protect critical infrastructure from “hostile state vendors.”

Ministers have also cited US sanctions as being likely to have an impact on the viability of Huawei as a 5G provider.

The Sunday Telegraph report said that the National Cyber Security Center had changed its recommendations on Huawei as the sanctions would force the company to use untrusted technology.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.