What happened: Britain will allow Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei limited access to the country’s next generation of mobile networks, known as 5G. Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the ban after a meeting with ministers on the National Security Council (NSC). Huawei will be allowed to supply some “noncore” parts of the 5G mobile infrastructure like antennas. However, some May’s cabinet ministers, including the foreign secretary, the home secretary, and the defense secretary, raised concerns, arguing instead for a total ban on the supplier.
Why it’s important: While Huawei can say that it has avoided a complete ban from supplying 5G equipment to the UK, providing only “noncore” equipment is not exactly an endorsement of its repeated claims that it is free of interference from the Chinese government. Also, Huawei is already a “noncore” supplier for Britain’s existing mobile network. The partial acceptance implies that the British government still buys US allegations that Huawei’s equipment could be used by Beijing for spying or sabotage.