Japan is set to become the latest country to ban the use of telecommunications equipment supplied by Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE due to fears that it would leave Japanese networks vulnerable to espionage and sabotage, Reuters reports.
According to Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper, the Japanese government will revise internal procurement guidelines as early as next Monday. The new rules will not name Huawei and ZTE specifically, but will be designed to effectively shut them out of contracts with Tokyo.
The United States banned government bodies from purchasing equipment from Huawei this year on grounds that the company has ties to Beijing and installs “backdoors” in its products to allow hacking by Chinese spies, although Washington has never provided public evidence to back up this claim.
Australia and New Zealand also recently prevented Huawei from participating in projects to build 5G networks, while the United Kingdom’s main wireless network carrier, BT Group, said it would remove Huawei products from its existing networks and would not use the Chinese firm’s equipment in core parts of its 5G network.