Ottawa joins four other partners in banning Chinese tech giants from its next-generation high-speed networks, citing risks to its national security.

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. (AP)

Wireless carriers in Canada won't be allowed to install Huawei equipment in their high-speed 5G networks, the Canadian government has said, joining allies in banning the giant Chinese technology company.

"We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada's telecommunications systems," Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Thursday.

Canada's ban also includes ZTE Corp., one of China's biggest tech companies and one that is state-owned.

Champagne added that "providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it." He said Canada's wireless companies won't be offered compensation.

Canada's major wireless companies already had started working with other providers.

"There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities in our defenses," Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said.

Mendicino said the government did an extensive review and is redoubling efforts to protect Canadians.

Canada had been the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-pooling alliance not to bar or restrict the use of equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in its 5G networks. 

The US and the other members — Britain, Australia and New Zealand — previously banned Huawei.

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Spying allegations

The US government has been lobbying allies like Canada for years to exclude Huawei from new ultra-fast 5G mobile networks over worries that China's communist rulers could compel the company to help with cyberespionage. 

The US has warned it would reconsider intelligence sharing with any countries that use Huawei gear.

The company has repeatedly denied the allegations. A spokesman for Huawei said he would refrain from commenting until he sees what the government is actually doing.

The development of 5G, or fifth-generation, networks will give people speedier online connections and provide vast data capacity to meet ravenous demand as more and more things link to the internet and innovations such as virtual reality, immersive gaming and autonomous vehicles emerge.

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. It has been a symbol of China's progress in becoming a technological world power — and a subject of US security and law enforcement concerns. 

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Source: AP