UK asks Japan for Huawei alternatives in 5G networks – Nikkei

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FILE PHOTO: a smartphone with the Huawei network logo and 5G is visible on the PC motherboard in this illustration photo taken on January 29, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – The British government has asked Japan to help it build its 5G wireless networks without Huawei technology, Nikkei said on Sunday, another step in a global technology and security war between the United States and the China.

Britain named NEC Corp (6701.T) et Fujitsu Ltd (6702.T) as potential alternative suppliers to Huawei, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

British officials met with their counterparts in Tokyo on Thursday, two days after Britain ordered Huawei equipment removed from its 5G networks by the end of 2027, the Nikkei said.

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, fears over Huawei’s security have forced Prime Minister Johnson to choose between the United States and China, weighing a critical alliance against billions in investments.

The Nikkei said the latest decision reflected Britain’s efforts to attract new equipment suppliers to promote competition and help reduce costs for the country’s wireless operators.

The British Embassy in Tokyo and Fujitsu did not immediately respond to inquiries by email or text on Sunday. The Japanese Cabinet Secretariat and the NEC did not respond to calls. Huawei and the Chinese Foreign Ministry made no immediate comment.

UK Digital Minister Oliver Dowden said last week that Britain was working with its allies to foster stronger rivals to Huawei, naming companies from Finland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan.

Report by Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Additional reports by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Ryan Woo in Beijing; Edited by William Mallard

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