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UK reportedly looking to begin phasing out 5G Huawei gear this year

US sanctions could lead to security risks in the telecom gear maker's technology.

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The UK could begin removing Huawei's equipment from the country's 5G network as early as this year.

Angela Lang/CNET

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to begin removing Huawei equipment from British 5G networks as early as this year, Bloomberg reported Sunday. The UK's National Cybersecurity Centre concluded that US sanctions against the embattled China telecom gear maker will result in the company having to use untrusted technology, leading to security risks, a source told the news agency.

Johnson approved Huawei for 5G in the UK in January with some conditions. The British restrictions are to exclude Huawei from building core parts of the UK's 5G networks, have Huawei's market share capped at 35% and exclude Huawei from sensitive geographic locations.

Huawei's 5G approval there came despite the US urging the UK to ban the Chinese telecommunications giant.

Huawei was blacklisted by the US in May 2019 when it was added to the US' "entity list" (PDF). President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.

Neither Huawei nor Johnson's office immediately responded to requests for comment.