The recent U.K. ban on the use of Huawei technology in its 5G wireless network is likely as much about salvaging the deteriorating U.S.-U.K. Sino relationship and restoring trade normalcy as it is about security.

"There are clearly legitimate security concerns around Huawei, particularly given that as a result of the trade ban, equipment will now be built more and more from Chinese components,” said Dan Ridsdale, global head of TMT for Edison Group. “However, it would be clearly naive to think that the decision was based purely on security concerns, with political and trade interest parties also at play.”

Much to the chagrin of U.S. government officials, citing concerns that China might try to leverage its relationship to the equipment provider to spy on U.S. companies and engage in other cyberespionage activities, the U.K. had stood resolute in its inclusion of Huawei technology in its 5G strategy. That decision “to allow Huawei to be deployed in the core left a more extensive ban as a bargaining chip on the table in trade negotiations,” Risdale explained.

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