CTVNews.ca employees, with CTV News reporting by Annie Bergeron-Oliver
Published December 28, 2018 at 22:00 EST.
US President Donald Trump may issue an order in the new year that will prohibit US companies from using equipment made by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE because of spy concerns, according to a Reuters report based in the United States.
Such an order will follow similar actions by countries such as Australia and New Zealand that have banned Chinese companies such as Huawei from participating in the development of their next-generation 5G mobile networks. Other countries are currently considering similar actions.
Digital technology expert Ritesh Kotak told CTV News that he understands why countries are taking action.
“Beijing can at any time ask these organizations to share information if it is related to national security or national interests,” he explained. "(I) if the technology itself is compromised at the hardware level, then all communication – everything that happens on the network – will be essentially compromised and may be subject to espionage or espionage."
Canada – which arrested Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on December 1 on behalf of the US authorities over the alleged violation of sanctions against Iran – is facing growing pressure from its allies to take a similar step.
“We’re right to be concerned,” said BTV O. Higgins, a cyber security expert, CTV News. "If the government is interested in doing something, it will create errors in the equipment … Even if you have access to the source code and you can shed it for many weeks or months, if something is hidden carefully, hardly anyone will find it. "
In response to Maine's arrest in December, two Canadians were detained in China – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor. A third, Sarah McIver, was recently released after being arrested on visa issues.
Trade experts say that the growing tensions between China and Canada have essentially eliminated any chance of a trade deal between the two countries in the near future.
“Trying to sell a bargain to a Canadian population, I just don’t see it happen,” said Patrick Leblon, a professor of social and international relations at the University of Ottawa, to CTV News. "Therefore, I think that any bargain, if it is ever concluded between Canada and China, will be concluded for many years."
For its part, Huawei said in a statement that he "has been working in Canada for ten years and has never encountered a problem."
“Huawei remains fully committed to doing everything that is required of the Canadian government in our operations now and in the future,” the company added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously stated that any decision to ban Huawei in Canadian 5G networks would be left to the discretion of national security experts.