OTTAWA: After the US, Canada has now moved to ban Chinese telecommunication giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks in order to ensure the "long term safety of our telecommunications infrastructure".
Following the steps of its partners -- including the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand -- Canada decided to ban the two Chinese tech companies by the start of 2028.
The five countries make up an intelligence-sharing arrangement named 'Five Eyes'.
"The government of Canada is ensuring the long term safety of our telecommunications infrastructure. As part of that, the government intends to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada's telecommunications systems," Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement late on Thursday.
The move will improve Canada's mobile Internet services and "protect the safety and security of Canadians".
Telecommunications companies that operate in Canada would no longer be permitted to make use of designated equipment or services provided by Huawei and ZTE.
"As well, companies that already use this equipment installed in their networks would be required to cease its use and remove it," said the minister.
Beijing reacted to the Canadian move, saying the security concerns raised by Canada are a "pretext for political manipulation", accusing Canada of working with the US to suppress Chinese companies.
US President Joe Biden in November signed the law to ban Huawei and ZTE from getting approval for network equipment licences in the country.
Earlier, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks -- making it harder for the US firms to buy equipment from them.
Under the new law, the FCC is required to no longer review or approve any authorisation application for equipment posing a clear risk to national security.