LONDON (Reuters) – The British government is expected to set a deadline of 2025 for removing equipment made by China’s Huawei from the country’s 5G telecoms networks, the Telegraph newspaper said on Friday.
The Telegraph reported that British culture minister Oliver Dowden will make a statement in Parliament on Tuesday about Huawei, and that ministers wanted Huawei’s removal within five years.
Adding to strains in ties between London and Beijing, Britain in January capped Huawei’s role in its 5G networks at 35% and barred it from the most sensitive parts of the system.
The government said recently that U.S. sanctions could damage Huawei’s ability to supply crucial networking equipment.
China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, warned last week that getting rid of Huawei would send a “very bad message” to Chinese business.
Operators Vodafone and BT said on Thursday that they needed a minimum of five years and ideally seven to avoid major disruption to Britain’s emerging superfast networks.
Conservative lawmakers have pressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to speed up the process to 2023, the Telegraph said.
A spokeswoman for Britain’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport was unable to comment immediately on the report.
(Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)