Citing cybersecurity concerns, Britain’s National Grid is now removing components supplied by a Communist Chinese firm from its sprawling electrical network. Specifically targeted are parts originating from China’s Nari Technology.
The decision to eradicate China’s footprint on the grid came after recommendations in April from the National Cyber Security Centre, according to the Financial Times.
In a statement, National Grid said, “We take the security of our infrastructure very seriously, and have effective controls in place to protect our employees and critical assets to ensure we can continue to reliably, safely and securely transmit electricity.”
Britain's National Grid has started removing components supplied by a unit of China-backed Nari Technology's from the electricity transmission network over cyber security fears, according to a report. https://t.co/80ywkApFat https://t.co/ZVSlwY1lhi
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 17, 2023
The outlet reported that a Nari subsidiary employee said the Chinese firm no longer enjoyed access to locations where components they supplied were installed. They added that no reason was given from National Grid for ending their contracts.
Western governments and private entities are engaged in reconsidering the wisdom of having Chinese elements in their infrastructure.
Nari Technology is a Nanjing-based firm that is state-controlled. It is a major supplier of components used in electricity grids around the globe, though apparently no longer in Britain.
Its presence in the British electrical grid consists of components utilized to make the network function smoothly and decrease the chance of blackouts.
Theoretically, this could give Beijing a massive inroad to create havoc in the U.K. should a global conflict break out. It could also be a back door for bad state actors to disrupt British life for a variety of reasons.
A Nari employee told the Times that there had previously been talks with British officials on cyber security concerns. Tests were run and engineers “didn’t see any potential risk.”
It was not confirmed if the components in question are still present in the electrical system.
Nari is the latest Chinese company to come under scrutiny over national security concerns. The U.K. three years ago banned Huawei products and technology from the emerging 5G network over concerns raised by the U.S.
Britain on two different occasions invoked the National Security and Investment Act to block other Chinese entities from involvement with the power grid.