Three-in-Four Canadians Reject Huawei in 5G Mobile Networks

Almost four-in-five think Canada should not work to establish closer ties with China, up 10 points since January.

Vancouver, BC [May 27, 2020] – The proportion of Canadians who disagree with the notion of allowing a telecommunications company from the People’s Republic of China to take part in the development of Canada’s 5G network has reached a new high, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The federal government is currently reviewing the guidelines for 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, three-in-four Canadians (75%) believe Ottawa should not allow Huawei to participate in Canada’s 5G spectrum.

This month’s survey marks the highest level of rejection for Huawei’s involvement in the 5G network. Majorities of Canadians had expressed this feeling in surveys conducted by Research Co. in February 2019 (57%), July 2019 (68%) and January 2020 (66%).

Today, B.C. Supreme Court associate justice Heather Holmes ruled that the extradition hearing process for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will continue. 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,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “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.

Photo Credit: Jeff Hitchcock

Methodology:

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.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca