LONDON — Britain said on Tuesday that it would not ban equipment made by the Chinese technology giant Huawei from being used in its new high-speed 5G wireless network, the starkest sign that an American campaign against the telecommunications company is faltering.
Despite more than a year of intense lobbying by the Trump administration, which has accused Huawei of having ties to China’s Communist Party that pose a national security threat, the British government announced it would allow the company to provide equipment in some portions of a next-generation network to be built in the coming years.
But by limiting Huawei gear to less-critical parts of the new network, Britain also gave the Trump administration a partial victory that would allow it to claim that its message about the Chinese company had gotten through.
The British decision was crucial in a broader fight for tech supremacy between the United States and China. Britain, a key American ally, is the most important country so far to reject White House warnings that Huawei is an instrument of Beijing. Britain’s membership in the “five eyes” intelligence-sharing group of countries, which also includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand, gave the outcome an added significance.
Many countries have been caught between the United States and China in their tech Cold War. American officials have threatened to withhold intelligence if countries do not ban Huawei, while Chinese representatives have warned of economic retaliation if they do.
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