Prime Minister Boris Jonas plans to join Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd's 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the Daily Telegraph reported https://bit.ly/2zmI2DE.
Johnson has told officials to plan to zero in by reducing China’s involvement in British infrastructure by 2023, it said late Friday.
According to the newspaper, Johnson is expected to use less reliance on China as a means to boost trade talks with US President Donald Trump after Britain's exit from the European Union.
Downing Street declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Friday, the Times reported that Johnson had instructed civilian employees that they could plan to end Britain's dependence on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports.
Beijing has been criticized for handling the coronavirus outbreak that began in China. Beijing denies US allegations that it is not transparent about the outbreak.
"He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China, but the Huawei deal will return significantly. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei's involvement as soon as possible, "a source told the Telegraph.
The development will be a shift in the direction of Britain, which confirmed in late April that it would play a role in helping Huawei build its 5G phone network.
Britain decided in January to allow Huawei as non-sensitive parts of the network, with a 35% stake.
The United States has raised security concerns about Huawei's equipment and warned that its users in its network run the risk of being cut off from valuable intelligence sharing feeds.