Malaysia will use Huawei’s gear  “as much as possible”, as they offer “tremendous advance over American technology”, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said at a forum in Tokyo today.

Bloomberg has thus reported that the Prime Minister came out in support of Huawei Technologies Co, the Chinese technology giant blacklisted by the United States amid claims the group aids Beijing in espionage. 

The public comments by Dr Mahathir are a snub to the Trump administration’s campaign against the telecommunications network-gear maker, the report said.

They also signal US efforts to win allies against Huawei are flopping in some countries that are prioritizing development of 5G wireless networks, one of the firm’s specialties.

In late April, Dr Mahathir visited Huawei’s Beijing office. He said then “We found that Huawei is very advanced… We see there is an opportunity for us, together with Huawei, to improve our capacity in the fields of communication and AI.”

The targeting of Huawei by the US has also complicated the trade war between Washington and Beijing, leaving telecoms operators around the world to decide whether to shun the Chinese equipment maker, the report said.

This week, Singapore-based mobile phone carrier M1 said it is open to more dealings with the Chinese company while flagging that there will be alternative providers as well for 5G infrastructure.

A day later, Japan-based SoftBank Corp selected Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB as vendors for its next-generation wireless network, excluding long-time supplier Huawei, the report said.

Outside Asia, Britain’s BT Group announced plans to remove Huawei gear from the core of its mobile network soon after the head of foreign intelligence agency MI6 said Britain warned about the risks of using Chinese equipment.