In December 2019, the Associated Press reported Huawei will be moving its U.S. research center to Canada due to sanctions placed on it by the Trump administration.
Huawei is a large commercial provider in his country, but officials recognize the threat it poses to Canadian national security, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on "Mornings with Maria" on Friday.
“Certainly when we were in government, all of our national security experts agreed that deep penetration of Huawei into our systems, into government systems, into 5G networks would be an unequivocal threat to national security,” Harper told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.
Earlier in February, the U.S. government filed additional charges against Huawei, accusing the company of scheming to steal the intellectual property of American companies and racketeering conspiracy, plus bank fraud.
“Huawei is not a normal private company, it is an extension of the Chinese surveillance state,” Harper maintained.
He added any Western country that allows Huawei “to go beyond certain limits” is being unwise.
One of the challenges of combating the spread of Huawei is how difficult it is to compete with the company’s advantages, according to Harper. He pointed to Huawei’s affordability — in part due to Chinese government subsidies — and the good products it offers. Harper also noted the lack of a complete supply chain in the West to compete with Huawei.
“I do think ultimately that the government of the United States is going to have to work with allies to make sure that there are Western providers of all these equipment services. Otherwise, the pull towards Huawei will get stronger and stronger,” Harper said.
Huawei denies that it sends sensitive information gathered on its devices and networks back to the Chinese government via backdoor access meant exclusively for law enforcement.
Despite all this tension on a federal scale, there is "no evidence at the moment that says one thing or the other" in terms of whether Huawei phones are secure, digital forensics expert Nicola Chemello told FOX Business.
He added, however, that Huawei uses 5G technology, which transfers "a huge amount of data" in real time from devices to cell towers and vise versa, "so to analyze every Huawei device using 5G" to determine whether or not they are secure "would take years."
FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report