The United Kingdom (UK) will reduce the controversial involvement of Chinese tech giant Huawei in its 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green light to Huawei’s participation in January, despite wide internal opposition and pressure from the United States.
But now it has instructed officials to draw up plans for China’s participation in Britain’s infrastructure to end by 2023, according to the report.
Washington has lobbied hard for countries to ban Huawei from building their next-generation 5G mobile networks, claiming that their equipment may be used to spy on Beijing.
Johnson will meet with United States President Donald Trump next month for the G7 summit, and Britain hopes to expand talks on a bilateral trade deal.
Parliamentarians from Johnson’s own party led the charge against Huawei’s involvement, a move that has accelerated after China’s actions during the coronavirus crisis.
“He has taken a large number of polls from his own MPs on this issue and shares his serious concerns. The agreement was reached before the pandemic hit, but the coronavirus changed everything, “an unidentified source told the newspaper.
Downing Street said they would not comment on the latest report.