Huawei has gone on a UK media rampage by taking out several newspaper ads in British newspapers as reported by CNBC. This is in response to the UK government deciding to review the role of Huawei's 5G. The ads appeared in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Times, Mirror, Sun, Daily Mail as well as some regional papers.
Huawei Hit Back at US and UK
Huawei has come under heavy fire from especially the US in recent months. US Sanctions on the company have caused rifts with their relations in the UK. This has led Huawei to plead with the UK to continue their partnership although this has somewhat fallen on deaf ears.
The ads Huawei took out ads across the UK Newspaper industry were an attempt to push back on fears about its new 5G network. The ads read, "For nearly 20 years, we've supplied the U.K.'s mobile and broadband companies with 3G and 4G,". It then went onto state "But some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G." Clearly an attempt at trying to sway public opinion.
This is a very significant and expensive move from Huawei to try and garner some public support. For example, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph charge £18,000 ($23,000) and £46,000 for full-page advertisements. This shows that Huawei is willing to fight in order to maintain its influence in the UK.
Johnson Currently Holding Firm
It has been a torrid few weeks and months for the Chinese tech giants. At the beginning of the year, the UK specified Huawei as a "high risk" vendor. This meant that the company could only provide non-core telecom equipment, thus limiting their influence.
Tensions have heightened over recent weeks, however. After the US imposed trade sanctions on the firm, the UK the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) launched a review into the company's role in 5G. The UK government has decided to place a 35% cap on the firm's 5G network supply. However, rumours suggest things may go further.
Allegedly, Boris Johnson has instructed officials to reduce China's involvement in the UK's infrastructure to zero by 2023. This seems near impossible and reports have confirmed that ministers this suggestion. Instead, the plan appears to be to prohibit new infrastructure from 2023.
Huawei has claimed that his move is to tackle the "noise" that is being made around 5G. It also underlines its commitment to "improving connectivity for everyone in the U.K." However, do not expect this story to go away any time soon.
As tension rise between the US and China, the UK is likely to become a pawn stuck in the middle. Trump has been pressuring the UK to ban Huawei and does not want the company to "drive a hi-tech wedge" between the nations.