The federal government will not buy BlackBerry devices from a Chinese company that is trying to take over the Canadian market, the minister of Canadian public safety said on Tuesday.
The minister of public safety, Steven Blaney, said the government will make a decision on buying BlackBerry 10 devices from China in the coming weeks.
“The government will be making a decision about the purchase of BlackBerry devices,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.
He did not elaborate.
Last week, the Harper government announced it would be buying $3.5 billion worth of BlackBerrys from Taiwan.
But Mr. Blaney said Tuesday that the government was waiting for final decisions on the deal from BlackBerry and the Chinese companies, who have been trying to purchase Canadian smartphones for more than two years.
A report by The Globe on Friday said Chinese technology giant Huawei, which has been buying BlackBerry devices for several years, is working to build a phone line that would compete directly with BlackBerry 10.
The company, which is owned by Huawei, is building the handsets with software that will run on BlackBerry 10 but is also compatible with BlackBerry devices that are sold by other companies, according to The Globe report.
But the government has resisted buying BlackBerry handsets because of concerns that the devices could be sold to hackers.
“It is not a matter of whether we want or do we want to buy devices from Huawei or from any other vendor,” Mr.
“It is a matter now of how we want those to be delivered to Canadians.”
Mr. Blany’s comments were made on the eve of BlackBerry 10’s official launch, which takes place on Wednesday in Ottawa.
Blany said the decision to buy BlackBerrys would not impact Canada’s trade relationship with China, which was signed last year between Ottawa and Beijing.
He also said the Canadian government would not buy any new BlackBerry devices.
But BlackBerry is in the process of building a smartphone line based on its own software.
It is currently in the early stages of development with plans to start shipping devices in the second half of 2018, Mr.
In a separate interview, the former chief executive of Bell Canada, Mike Lazar, also told The Globe that the company was considering buying BlackBerry phones.
“We are considering BlackBerry 10,” Mr, Lazar said.
He said he would make a formal announcement on the purchase on Monday, but did not have a timeframe for when he would announce it.
The federal government is also looking at other ways to boost the sales of BlackBerry products.
It has been reviewing its policies around sales of smartphones in a bid to help reduce the use of Chinese smartphones by Canadian consumers.
The government has also launched an initiative called “Smartphones Everywhere,” which aims to help Canadian businesses sell smartphones to foreign customers in a way that is not disruptive to Canadians.