Canada’s Delayed Decision Has Effectively Blocked Huawei From 5G in the Country

Canada has effectively blocked Huawei from the country’s next-generation 5G wireless networks, even if it hasn’t specifically said so.

Canada is the last remaining member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network that hasn’t officially blocked Huawei from 5G networks. While it hasn’t decided on the matter yet, Canada’s long delay in making such a decision essentially forces Canadian telecoms to exclude the Chinese company, reads a new report from Reuters.

The strategy allows Canada to stay on the right side of both China and the United States as they fight over Huawei. Canada and its Five Eyes allies — the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia — are under pressure from fellow member the United States to squeeze out Huawei on security grounds.

“The absence of a solution will eventually settle all problems,” said a source directly familiar with the approach taken by the Liberal government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced further US restrictions on Huawei in order curb its access to commercially available chips. As such, Canadian telecoms now feel without choice but to crack dowan on Huawei in 5G networks, say the report’s sources.

“They’ve done the political calculus and said ‘The best thing for us is to do nothing and if we do nothing we don’t upset the Chinese, we don’t upset the Americans,'” said a source familiar with what government officials are saying.

Huawei said in a statement that it believed Ottawa “when it says it is taking the time to make a considered decision.”