Japan’s government has issued instructions Monday effectively banning China’s Huawei and ZTE from official contracts, while the country’s top three telecom operators plan to follow suit, Japanese media reported Monday. As if 5G equipment bans from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand weren’t enough this year, Huawei will end 2018 on an even worse note.
Japan’s decision comes less than a month after the United States reportedly lobbied several overseas allies to block Chinese cellular hardware from their wireless networks, in part due to concerns over monitoring of U.S. military base communications. The Reuters source of this Japan information said that the primary motive behind the expected ban is security concerns.
In Britain, BT Group is removing Huawei equipment from its existing 3G and 4G networks, and will not use Huawei for future networks. However, there is no rumored government ban in the works as far as the United Kingdom goes.
The Japanese ban will cover purchases of personal computers, servers and telecommunications equipment by the government and Self-Defense Forces over concerns that viruses embedded in the equipment could cause systems to fail or could leak sensitive information, including military operations, to China, Nikkei reported.
But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the new rules were not targeting any particular company.
“In order to secure cybersecurity, we are aware that it is extremely important to make sure we would not procure equipment with functions of malicious intention,” he told a news conference Monday.
“Accordingly those ministries and agencies related to this issue met today to ensure cybersecurity related to IT procurement within the government,” he said. “The purpose is to stipulate at each ministry and agency what system and procurement procedures should be protected, and it is not to eliminate specific companies or equipment.