Can the U.S. Freeze Huawei Out of the 5G Future?

Can the U.S. Freeze Huawei Out of the 5G Future?
Visitors look at a display from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing, Sept. 26, 2018 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

One of the most contentious elements of the U.S.-China relationship today is over the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its outsized role in the development of next-generation 5G telecommunications infrastructure around the world. The Trump administration argues that Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese government make it a national security risk. Last summer, the Commerce Department added Huawei to a blacklist that prevents American companies from doing business with it, although it has subsequently granted some limited reprieves.

U.S. officials have urged other countries to avoid Huawei as well, but in a blow to those efforts, the United Kingdom recently announced it would allow Huawei to take a limited role in building out its 5G infrastructure. The Trump administration is also reportedly ramping up its efforts to develop a home-grown alternative to Huawei, enlisting major technology and telecommunications firms in a joint effort. But is it all too little too late? For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman discusses the debate over Huawei and the future of 5G with Emily Taylor, the CEO of Oxford Information Labs and an associate fellow in the International Security Program at Chatham House in London.

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Why America’s Global Campaign Against Huawei Is Failing
Why China Is Weaning Itself Off American Technology
China’s Protectionism Online Is Driving Its Own Decoupling With the U.S.
Is the U.S.-China Trade War Turning Into a New Cold War?

Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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