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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The anti-Huawei movement continues even as attention shifts to the coronavirus, with a group of tech firms urging the U.K. to find alternatives to using Huawei gear in 5G networks.

The big picture: The approach they propose has also been pursued by some in the White House, though many have cast doubt on its viability, especially in the short term.

Driving the news: The letter, addressed to House of Commons Defense Committee chair Tobias Ellwood, calls on Britain to scrap its current plan, which would allow "high-risk" vendors like Huawei to build up to 35% of its 5G network, as long as they don't supply gear for the network core.

"In short, the U.K. now has the opportunity to put in place the most technologically advanced 5G infrastructure without needing to rely at all on 'high-risk vendors.'"
— Letter seen by Axios
  • The letter is signed by nine less well-known tech companies who have been pursuing whats known as "ORAN," an alternative to traditional radio access network gear using standard servers and open source software.
  • The best-known company is Japan's NEC, along with Airspan, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, Microelectronics Technology, Super Micro Computer, Altiostar, GigaTera Communications and World Wide Technology.

Yes, but: Such an approach is likely to take time and not be a ready alternative to traditional telecom systems for the first wave of 5G networks. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr blasted it as "pie in the sky."

Go deeper: Coronavirus scrambles tech's ecology

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.