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Huawei Security ‘Defects’ Are Found by British Authorities

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Aly Song/Reuters

LONDON — A British review of Huawei found “significant” security problems with the Chinese company’s telecommunications equipment, a conclusion that supports a United States effort to ban it from next-generation wireless networks.

The British report, released on Thursday, said there were “underlying defects” in Huawei’s software engineering and security processes that governments or independent hackers could exploit, posing risks to national security. While the report did not call for an outright ban of Huawei equipment, it was endorsed by the country’s top cybersecurity agency.

The conclusions buttress the Trump administration’s push to convince its allies that Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, creates grave risks to national security. The White House has accused Huawei of being an arm of the Chinese government that can be used for spying or to sabotage communications networks, a charge that Huawei has vehemently denied.

But the American push has run into hurdles. Many countries, including Britain, have resisted the effort to ban Huawei, arguing that the risk can be mitigated. It is a critical time for wireless carriers as they prepare to spend billions of dollars to introduce next-generation wireless networks, known as 5G, which governments see as essential infrastructure for a rapidly digitizing global economy.

The British report highlights broader challenges facing many countries. While Huawei products may pose cybersecurity risks, the company is a key provider of the equipment needed to build 5G networks. If countries issue an outright ban, they could face costly delays in adopting the technology that not only will increase the download speeds of mobile phones but is expected to create breakthroughs in manufacturing, transportation and health care. And Huawei is already a…