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.


Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

Updated 17 min 5 sec ago

Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

  • ‘If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected’
  • Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments
PARIS: Bailouts provided to Air France-KLM by the French and Dutch governments will keep the airline flying less than a year, its CEO Benjamin Smith said Monday and evoked the possibility of injecting new capital.
In an interview with the French daily l’Opinion, Smith also warned that calls for airlines to contribute more to fight climate change could be catastrophic for their survival which is already under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When countries imposed lockdowns earlier this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus airlines faced steep drops in revenue that have claimed several carriers.
A number of countries stepped in with support, including France which provided $8.2 billion to Air France and the Netherlands which received a $2.9 billion package.
“This support will permit us to hold on less than 12 months,” said Smith.
The reason is that air traffic is picking up very slowly as many northern hemisphere countries are now fearing a second wave of infections.
“If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected,” according to Smith, who said when the bailout was put together the airline was expecting a return to 2019 levels only in 2024.
Smith said discussions were already underway with shareholders on shoring up the airline group, and steps would be taken before the next regular annual meeting in the second quarter of next year.
“One, three or five billion euros? It is too early to put a figure on a possible recapitalization,” he said.
The airline group had $12.12 billion in cash or available under credit lines.
Major shareholders include the French government with a 14.3 percent stake, the Dutch government at 14 percent, as well as Delta and China Eastern airlines which each hold an 8 percent stake.
Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments.
One proposal that has come from a citizen’s convention convoked by President Emmanuel Macron would cost airlines an estimated $3.6 billion.
Smith said the imposition of environmental charges on the industry would be “irresponsible and catastrophic” for Air France-KLM.