Canada is set to ban telecom-hardware maker Huawei from participating in the the country’s 5G infrastructure, joining several Western allies who have done the same.
Catch up: The US, UK, and Australia have all blocked Huawei from supplying hardware for their 5G networks over concerns that the Chinese company—which has close ties to its government—could use its equipment to pass along sensitive data to the country's intelligence services (which Huawei denies).
- Canada delayed the decision for years while its relationship with China worsened, driven in part by the imprisonment of the Two Michaels—a move widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Big picture: Both President Trump and Biden have pressured Canada to keep Huawei out of 5G, so it was never likely that it would endanger its place in the US-led Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership (not to be confused with Five Guys, which is just a decent spot for a burger).
- Canada’s telcos reportedly spent over $700 million buying equipment from Huawei between 2018 and 2020—what will happen to that equipment now is not yet clear, though more recently, Telus and Bell both stopped buying from Huawei in anticipation of the ban.
Bottom line: Booting Huawei from our 5G network is the latest chapter in the messy separation of Western economies from China, a decoupling that shows no sign of stopping amid growing political and security tensions.