3 in 4 Canadians reject Huawei in Canada’s 5G network

Three in four Canadians want to keep China’s Huawei out of Canada’s 5G network, according to the latest results of a Research Co. tracking poll, which mark a new high water level in Canadians’ rejection of the telecom giant from the People’s Republic of China.

The survey of a representative national sample found that 75% believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government should not allow the telecom giant from People’s Republic of China to participate in Canada’s 5G spectrum[1]https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Tables_Huawei_CAN_27May2020.pdf.

Majorities of Canadians had expressed this feeling in surveys conducted by Research Co. in February 2019 (57%), July 2019 (68%) and January 2020 (66%).

Former Canadian diplomats had warned that Chinese corporations are legally required to provide information to the Chinese government, and Huawei was no exception.

“I’ve listened to some of the comments of Ren Zhengfei, the CEO of Huawei—no Chinese company can refuse a request from the Chinese government to provide information,” Guy Saint-Jacques, Former Ambassador of Canada to the People’s Republic of China, told the House of Commons China-Canada Relations committee. “We know that Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com are providing all the information to the Chinese government to put in place the social credit system. It’s a concern. We have to look at ways in which this could have an impact in Canada.”

Other experts have argued that the cost of allowing companies like Huawei in Canada is not worth it in the long run.

“Currently, there’s a psychology in Canada that the most important thing in our relations with China is the promotion of Canadian prosperity through enhanced trade,”Charles Burton, Associate Professor, Political Science at Brock University testified at the same committee. “But the cost that China wants to extract from us for that in pursuit of their overall agenda, such as removing restrictions on Canadian exports of high tech to China, allowing unfettered Chinese state access to Canadian mining and oil or insisting that we install the Huawei 5G into our telecommunications and so on, these things are not worth the cost to Canada in the long run.”

Today, B.C. Supreme Court associate justice Heather Holmes ruled that the extradition hearing process for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will continue[2]https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/20/07/2020BCSC0785.htm.

Meng was detained in December 2018, has remained under house arrest in Vancouver, and faces charges in the United States, including bank fraud and obstruction of justice.

Following Meng’s arrest, China detained two Canadians—Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor—on espionage allegations, and banned exports of Canadian canola, pork and beef.

“In four rounds of nationwide polling, most Canadians have never regarded Huawei as a welcome addition to Canada’s 5G network,” Mario Canseco, President of Research Co, said. “Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic in the background and as the court decision on Meng’s extradition was about to be rendered, this view has hardened considerably.”

Three-in-four Canadians (75%, +8 since January 2020) agree with the way Canadian authorities have acted in the Meng case.

Sizeable proportions of Canadians who voted last year for the Liberal Party (91%), the New Democratic Party (NDP) (75%) and the Conservative Party (59%) feel this way.

Almost four-in-five Canadians (78%, up 10 points since January) think Canada should not work to establish closer ties with China, including 90% of Canadians aged 55 and over and 82% of women.

Results are based on an online study conducted on May 26 and May 27, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

References   [ + ]

1. https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Tables_Huawei_CAN_27May2020.pdf
2. https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/20/07/2020BCSC0785.htm