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December 18, 2023
National Grid cuts ties with Chinese tech supplier over energy security concerns

National Grid has made moves to terminate reliance on a Bejing-based technology company amid cybersecurity and energy security concerns, reports the Financial Times. This process began in April, but whether components remain is presently unclear.

The British electricity suppliers have begun to remove components supplied by NR Electric UK, a subsidiary of state-backed Nari Technology, after consultation with the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of intelligence agency GCHQ.

Nari Technology is 51.48% controlled by Nari Group is a state-owned grid company

National Grid has not issued a statement on this issue but told the FT that it “take[s] the security of its infrastructure very seriously.” It added, “[We] have effective controls in place to protect our employees and critical assets to ensure we can continue to reliably, safely, and securely transmit electricity.” Nari Technology has not made a statement and has not responded to the FT’s request for comment.

The UK, China, and concerns for energy security

This move is the latest in an effort by the UK to distance itself from any reliance on China, citing security reasons. In 2022, the UK government paid out £100 million to China General Nuclear, a state-owned firm, to acquire their share of the Sizewell C nuclear plant.

Early in December, another British nuclear facility, Sellafield, was subject to repeated cyber attacks, believed to have ties to Russia and China.

In a comment to the FT, a UK government official said, “The UK takes its national security extremely seriously, including the security of its critical infrastructure and all sectors of the economy. We work closely with the private sector to safeguard our national security.”

However, these decisions have been met with disappointment in the Chinese embassy. “The China-UK practical co-operation is a win-win one that brings benefits to both sides, and the two countries should make joint efforts to create a conducive environment to it.” It also added that it always opposes the “severing of supply chains under the pretext of security.”

Featured image credit: Pixabay/Pexels

The post National Grid cuts ties with Chinese tech supplier over energy security concerns appeared first on ReadWrite.


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