A sizeable majority of Canadians continue to believe that a telecommunications company from the People’s Republic of China should be excluded from the 5G spectrum, a new Research Co. poll has found.
The federal government is currently reviewing the guidelines for the development of 5G (or “Fifth Generation”) mobile networks, which are expected to provide Canadians with larger data capacity and faster connections.
In the online survey of a representative national sample, two thirds of Canadians (66%) think the federal government should not allow Huawei to participate in Canada’s 5G mobile networks.
The level of rejection for Huawei’s presence in the 5G spectrum is similar to what was observed by Research Co. in July 2019 (68%), and remains higher than what was first reported in February 2019 (57%).
Canadians aged 55 and over (72%) and British Columbians (81%) are the groups that are voicing the highest opposition to Huawei’s participation in the 5G spectrum.
A series of extradition hearings for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou were held in the BC Supreme Court earlier this month. Meng was arrested in December 2018 and faces charges in the United States, including bank fraud and obstruction of justice.
Two thirds of Canadians (67%, -5 since July 2019) agree with the way Canadian authorities have acted in this case.
“More than four-in-five Liberal Party voters in last year’s election (83%) endorse the performance of the federal government on the Meng case,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Smaller majorities of federal New Democratic Party (NDP) voters (68%) and Conservative Party voters (53%) concur.”
Following Meng’s arrest, China’s detained two Canadians—Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor—on espionage allegations, and banned exports of Canadian canola, pork and beef.
When asked if Canada should work to establish closer ties with China, one-in-five Canadians (19%, +1 since July 2019) believe that it should, while a majority (67%, -1) think it should not.
In a Research Co. survey conducted in December 2019, 27% of Canadians expressed a positive opinion of China, while 61% had negative views.
Results are based on an online study conducted from January 23 to January 26, 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.