The Japanese authorities are likely to announce the decision next week; Huawei CFO arrested

The Japanese government is considering a ban on government purchases of equipment from Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE, with the aim of preventing intelligence leaks and cyberattacks, Reuters reported, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Japanese press also reported that the government was expected to revise its internal rules on procurement as early as Monday.

According to the reports, the Japanese government does not plan to specifically name Huawei and ZTE in the revision, but will put in place measures aimed at strengthening security that apply to these two vendors.

Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, declined to comment. But he noted that the country has been in close communication with the United States on a wide range of areas, including cybersecurity.

In August, Australian authorities announced a decision to prevent certain vendors from taking part in the rollout of 5G mobile networks across the country, effectively banning Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from involvement. Huawei said the decision by the Australian government to block the company from the country’s domestic 5G market is politically motivated and not the result of a fact-based decision-making process.

Last month, Huawei has said it was seeking to establish contacts with New Zealand authorities following a recent announcement that the vendor has been blocked from participating in local carrier Spark’s 5G network deployment, New Zealand press reported. New Zealand’s Intelligence services Minister Andrew said that the government’s decision not to allow Spark to use Huawei gear over national security risk was not a ban.

Earlier this week, UK’s BT Group said it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations — which it said was part of ongoing work on the former EE network. BT also said that it would not use Huawei 5G equipment in the carrier’s 5G core networks, although it said Huawei was not excluded from providing Radio Access Network equipment.

Huawei was also hit this week with the announcement of the arrest of company CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company’s founder.

The arrest was made by the Canadian authorities on December 1 at Washington’s request, as part of a U.S. investigation of an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

“She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod said in a statement to The Globe and Mail.

Huawei said in a statement that the executive faces “unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York” and that she was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.

“The company has been provided with very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng. The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion,” Huawei said, adding that the company “complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws.”

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa also strongly protested the arrest of Huawei’s CFO and demanded her immediate release, saying she had not violated Canadian or U.S. law.

“The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the U.S. and Canadian side, urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal liberty of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” the embassy said in a statement. “We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”


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