As Chinese tech giant Huawei prepares to bring Google’s latest mobile operating system Pie to its range of phones, the UK’s Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson expressed ‘grave concerns’ over Huawei’s involvement in the mobile network.
The Defence Secretary’s comments came after other countries had expressed the same misgivings, including New Zealand, Australia and the US.
I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It’s something we’d have to look at very closely.
We’ve got to look a what partners such as Australia and the US are doing in order to ensure that they have the maximum security of that 5G network and we’ve got to recognise the fact, as has been exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way.- Gavin Williamson: Defence Secretary of State
Huawei, which was founded by a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army has been dogged by questions of its involvement with the Chinese state. Recently the head of MI6, Alex Younger, warned the UK would need to make ‘some decisions’ about the firm after other governments had blocked Huawei.
Concerns have grown, with the imminent arrival of 5G, and the British government accusing Beijing of being behind a massive programme of industrial espionage. Described as ‘a widespread and significant campaign’ of ‘cyber intrusions’ against the UK and its allies.
In particular, the Foreign Office said hackers, acting on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Sate Security had stolen commercial secrets from firms in Europe, Asia and the US. At one point claiming the hackers’ activities were so widespread, they were ‘putting at risk’ economic growth in the UK as well as globally.
Huawei has always strongly denied such accusations. In a recent statement they said, ‘it had never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks and would never tolerate such behaviour by any of their staff.’
The raft of accusations come as Huawei, along with Samsung are gearing up to switch their line-ups to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 9 or better known as Android Pie.
Huawei announced that in early 2019 they will launch a Pie update for several of its models including the Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P20 and P20 Pro. It will also include the Honor Play, 10 and View 10.
Android Pie’s main new feature is an improved navigation system that enables users to switch more easily between open applications. It also boasts an improved battery life on most smartphones.
Current Android users can check if Pie is available for their phones by checking updates in their settings.