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China's Huawei launches ad blitz as UK reconsiders its role

LONDON (AP) — Huawei has launched an advertising campaign in Britain as officials reconsider the Chinese technology company's role in supplying equipment for the country's next-generation high speed mobile networks.

The company took out full-page ads in British national newspapers outlining its commitment to providing mobile and broadband companies with equipment for fifth-generation networks, even though “some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G.”

Huawei is stepping up its efforts to win over public opinion as it faces increasing pressure from a U.S.-led campaign aimed at persuading allies to shun its telecom equipment over fears that Beijing could use it for spying or sabotage — a charge the company has consistently denied.

Huawei was granted a limited role in January to build the U.K.’s new high-speed 5G networks. However, last week the U.K's National Cyber Security Centre began a review to examine the impact new U.S. sanctions against Huawei could have on the country's networks, officials said.

The U.S. restrictions on foreign semiconductor makers unveiled last month are aimed at limiting Huawei’s ability to use American technology, escalating a geopolitical battle between Washington and Beijing over industry development and security.

The sanctions “will definitely damage the global supply chain of the semiconductor industry, which lots of industries rely on,” though it's too soon to draw a conclusion about the impact, Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang told reporters on a conference call.

Huawei faced a setback last week in Canada, where two of the three major telecommunication companies decided not to use its equipment for their 5G networks.

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