Britain will ban the installation of new Huawei equipment in its 5G network from September 2021, several years earlier than expected, in an acceleration of the crackdown on the Chinese giant’s role in the future of British telecoms. The move brings the United Kingdom further into line with the policy of the United States, but also risks provoking a refreshed economic and diplomatic backlash from Beijing.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the hastening of the process “will put an end to fears operators might stockpile kit in the hope a ban might be reversed” by a new government. Sinosceptic Conservative backbenchers had feared that a slow timetable would lead to a watering-down of the ban over time by politicians seeking to improve the trading relationship with Beijing.