The British government discovered new vulnerabilities in the country's wireless network infrastructure which it attributed to Huawei's equipment. "Identification of shortcomings in Huawei's engineering processes have exposed new risks in the UK telecommunication networks and long-term challenges in mitigation and management," the Thursday report reads. Reuters previously reported that state security officials in the United Kingdom are set to downgrade their assurances given in regards to the usage of Huawei-made telecom equipment, suggesting their concerns about potential national security risks are rising.
Huawei already faced close to two decades of accusations about its telecom hardware, having vehemently denied any such notion, arguing that its products aren't any less secure than competing solutions. The Shenzhen, Guangdong-based company is deeply entrenched in the British wireless segment and is expected to play a major role in the deployment of the fifth generation of mobile networks throughout the UK. London's officials recently warned mobile service providers in the country against purchasing equipment from another Chinese telecom giant, ZTE, citing national security concerns. An April letter to wireless carriers authored by Ian Levy, the Technical Director of the National Cyber Security Centre, acknowledged the country's reliance on Huawei's equipment but maintained the government has policies in place that mitigate the risk posed by that infrastructure.
The Government Communications Headquarters currently finances a division whose sole task is to monitor Huawei's hardware and act against any potential spying or hacking attempts against the UK. The concerns raised by some Western nations in regards to Huawei largely stem from the company's close ties to Beijing and the military history of its founder Ren Zhengfei, as well as its opaque ownership structure – the firm is technically owned by its workers but only those in China, and their ownership rights are revoked as soon as their employment ends, making its shares behave nothing like stock options in the West. Australia is reportedly planning to ban Huawei's 5G push within its borders as well, whereas the U.S. already effectively stopped the company from doing any large-scale business in the country.