LONDON – Chinese technology firm Huawei said Sunday that it remains “open to discussions” with the British government and is working closely with its customers to find ways of managing the proposed US restrictions so Britain can maintain its current lead in 5G.

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it will impose new restrictions on Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology.

Huawei said in a previous statement that it “categorically opposes the amendments made by the US Department of Commerce to its foreign direct product rule that target Huawei specifically”.

The British government announced in January its new plans to safeguard the country’s telecoms network, which is widely seen as approving a restricted role for Huawei in helping build the country’s 5G network.

But the British government is reviewing the impact of the US restrictions on Huawei and will make a statement regarding the issue later this month, according to local media.

In Sunday’s statement, Victor Zhang, vice president of Huawei, said: “We believe it is too early to determine the impact of the proposed restrictions, which are not about security, but about market position.”

“All our world-leading products and solutions use technology and components over which the UK government has strict oversight. Our technology is already extensively used in 5G networks across the country and has helped connect people throughout lockdown,” said Zhang.

An executive of Vodafone has warned that Britain’s hopes of leading the world in 5G technology would be dealt a terminal blow if the government removes Huawei from the country’s telecoms infrastructure, the Financial Times (FT) newspaper reported last month.

“The UK’s leadership in 5G will be lost if mobile operators are forced to spend time and money replacing existing equipment,” Scott Petty, chief technology officer at Vodafone UK, told FT.

The Chinese technology company has been operating in the British market for some two decades. It employs 1,600 people in Britain and supplies telecoms network equipment to all the major mobile and broadband service providers in the country.

Recently, Huawei announced that it will build a state-of-the-art center in Cambridge, Britain, which will focus on the research, development, and manufacturing of optical devices and modules.

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