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Senator unveils bill to stop the US from sharing intel with countries using Huawei 5G

The legislation comes just as the UK is set to decide whether to upgrade its telecom network with Huawei.
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Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Staff Writer on

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced legislation this week that would prohibit the US from sharing intelligence with any country allowing Huawei to operate 5G technologies within its borders. If such legislation passed, it would have a major impact on US foreign policy, as well as business for the Chinese telecom giant. 

Cotton's legislation follows years of intensifying scrutiny over Huawei's relationship with the Chinese government. 

"The United States shouldn't be sharing valuable intelligence information with countries that allow an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party to operate freely within their borders," Cotton said in a statement. "I urge our allies around the world to carefully consider the consequences of dealing with Huawei to their national interests."

Last year, as the Trump administration ramped up its posture against China, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its "Entity List," barring US companies from transferring technology to Huawei without a special license from the US government. Other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Taiwan have effectively banned Huawei. 

However, other countries such as India and France have so far resisted pressure to blacklist the Chinese company. The UK is expected to make a decision on the matter within weeks. Just last month, Huawei opened a 5G innovation center in London.

In spite of US efforts to limit the adoption of Huawei's 5G technology, the company posted strong gains in 2019, growing revenue 18 percent. The company has said it invested more than $4 billion into 5G between 2009 and 2019. 

Prior and related coverage: 

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