Alex Younger, head of the U.K.'s foreign intelligence agency MI6, said Theresa May's government must decide if Chinese-owned Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. should be barred from running fifth-generation telecom networks in Britain.

The U.K. is coming under increasing pressure to restrict Huawei after New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. banned the company. While the U.K. has already barred another telecoms provider, ZTE Corp., Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has yet to rule on Huawei.

"We've got some decisions to take here," Younger said in a question and answer session with students and media at St. Andrews University, Scotland, on Monday. "We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken quite a definite position. It's not wholly straightforward."