Toronto (Canada), May 20: The Canadian government will ban the Chinese telecommunications giant companies Huawei and ZTE from its 5G and 4G wireless networks, informed Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
While talking to the media, Canadian Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne stated, "Telecommunication companies in Canada will not be permitted to include in their networks products or services that put our national security at risk." "Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it," he added.
With this, Canada becomes one of the countries which have already banned or restricted Huawei equipment from their 5G networks. Previously, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK imposed restrictions or banned the Huawei equipment from their 5G network, Toronto Sun reported.
Champagne, while responding to a question on being late in taking a decision against Chinese companies, said, "This has never been a race. This is about making the right decision."
In a policy statement, Canada's Innovation Minister stated that telecom companies must remove Huawei and ZTE's 5G equipment and managed services by June 28, 2024, and "any existing 4G equipment and managed services must be removed or terminated by December 31, 2027."
The Canadian minister further said that the government would not be financially compensating telecoms, reported Toronto Sun.
Huawei has sold slightly more than USD 700 million worth of equipment to telecom operators in Canada during 2018, mostly to Bell and Telus, on top of older, previously supplied equipment.
Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, a China expert and senior fellow at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, believes it will take between two and five years to remove all Huawei equipment.
According to the Toronto Sun, Johnston said she is "fully in favour" of the Liberals' move and that she had hoped the government would go as far as the United States and outright ban all of the company's products, including consumer items like cellphones.
"There are other elements of what the company provides that can also be a problem," she added.
The ban on Huawei and ZTE stems from fears that the use of Huawei equipment in Canada's next-generation wireless networks poses a security risk, especially given China's laws requiring state-owned enterprises to cooperate with the country's intelligence services.