Huawei and ZTE of China will be banned from Canada's 5G networks

Canada has announced that two of China's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers would be prohibited from operating on its 5G phone networks.

The country's industry minister announced the restrictions against Huawei and ZTE on Thursday.

According to Francois-Philippe Champagne, the measure would improve Canada's mobile internet services while also "protecting Canadians' safety and security."

Huawei Canada, on the other hand, said it was "disappointed" by the decision, which it called "political."

A statement added, "This is a sad political decision that has nothing to do with cyber security or any of the technology in question." 

Several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, have already imposed limitations on the companies.

The four countries, together with Canada, make form the "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing agreement. It began as a means for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing sensitive information during the Cold War.

Canada's move came as no surprise, given that its partners had previously excluded Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.

Mr Champagne told reporters in Ottawa, Canada's capital, that the decision was reached after "a thorough evaluation by our security services and dialogue with our closest partners." 

"Let me be clear: We will always defend the safety and security of Canadians, and we will take all steps required to secure our telecommunication infrastructure," he continued.

"This is the proper decision in a 5G future, at a time when we rely more and more in our everyday lives [on] our network."

Beijing regards the security concerns expressed by Canada as a "pretext for political manipulation," according to a spokeswoman for the Chinese embassy in Ottawa.

China's representative also accused Canada of collaborating with the US to repress Chinese businesses.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to BBC requests for comment. 

In September 2018, Canada announced an examination of Huawei equipment.

Governments in the United States and other Western countries have targeted some of China's largest technology and telecoms corporations in recent years due to national security concerns.

President Joe Biden of the United States approved legislation in November prohibiting corporations deemed to be security concerns from acquiring new telecommunications equipment licences in the country.

It means Huawei, ZTE, and three other Chinese companies' equipment can't be used in US telecom networks.

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