Security officials have launched a review of Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G network after fresh US sanctions.
The US commerce department earlier this month said it would extend the sanctions to require licences for sales to Huawei of semiconductors made abroad with American technology.
The UK government has since confirmed that the National Cyber Security Centre is “looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK’s networks”.
It comes after the Telegraph last week reported that Boris Johnson intended to reduce the Chinese state-owned firm’s involvement in Britain’s 5G network in the wake of the pandemic.
Johnson has reportedly instructed officials to draw up plans that would reduce China’s involvement to zero by 2023.
The US added Huawei to a trade blacklist last year over national security concerns, essentially blocking US companies from doing business with the Chinese company.
Last week the technology company slammed “pernicious” new US sanctions, warning they could put its survival at stake.
“Huawei categorically opposes the amendments made by the US Department of Commerce to its foreign direct product rule that target Huawei specifically,” the company said in a statement, adding that previous sanctions were also unjustified.
Despite the warnings, the UK has allowed Huawei to build non-sensitive parts of the country’s 5G networks, but it will implement a 35 per cent market share cap.
In March, a Tory backbench rebellion signalled efforts to overturn the move. In early April, a group of 15 Conservative MPs called for a rethink on relations with China.
Huawei then wrote an open letter to the UK government urging it not to “disrupt” the firm’s involvement in the 5G rollout.
Victor Zhang, vice president of Huawei said: “Our priority remains to continue the rollout of a reliable and secure 5G networks across Britain. We are happy to discuss with NCSC any concerns they may have and hope to continue the close working relationship we have enjoyed for the last ten years.”