The ban, which is a matter of national security, means that Canada has finally joined the rest of the Five Eyes network of Great Britain, Australia, the United States and New Zealand in banning the network.
“We intend to exclude Huawei and ZTE from our 5G networks. Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it under the plans we’re announcing today,” said Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
He went on to say that by June 2024 companies will have to dismantle their 5G devices and will not receive a refund, while companies using their 4G devices will have to dismantle their devices by the end of 2027.
Huawei’s vice president, Alykhan Veishi, said the company was still waiting to see “what sort of national security threats they think Huawei poses.” He pointed out that Huawei still has 1,500 employees in Canada, mainly in research and development. The company still sells products such as mobile phones and will continue to do so.
Canada announced it would investigate Huawei in 2018, but the decision to ban the company was postponed due to diplomatic tensions with China.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Canada claimed that the alleged security concerns were a “pretext for political manipulation.” The spokesperson accused Canada of working with Canada to suppress Chinese companies.