UK Asks Japan for Huawei Alternatives in 5G Networks—Nikkei

July 18, 2020 Updated: July 19, 2020

TOKYO—The British government asked Japan to help build its 5G wireless networks without Huawei Technologies, the Nikkei said on Sunday, a further step in a global technology and security war between the United States and China.

Britain named NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. as potential alternative suppliers to Huawei, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

British officials met with their counterparts in Tokyo on Thursday, two days after Britain ordered Huawei equipment purged from its 5G networks by the end of 2027, the Nikkei said.

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, fears over the security of Huawei have forced Prime Minister Johnson to choose between the United States and China, weighing a critical alliance against billions in investment.

The Nikkei said the latest move reflects Britain’s effort to bring in new equipment suppliers to foster competition and help reduce costs for the country’s wireless carriers.

The British embassy in Tokyo and Fujitsu did not immediately respond to email or text inquiries on Sunday. Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat and NEC did not answer calls. Huawei and China’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment.

British digital minister Oliver Dowden last week said Britain was working with its allies to foster stronger rivals to Huawei, naming firms from Finland, Sweden, South Korea, and Japan.