U.S. bans Huawei: National security or geopolitical insecurity?
By Nayan Seth, Li Jingyi
A concerted U.S. campaign is to target Huawei, the telecom giant which promises to transform lives through technological advancements.
Hours after the U.S. President signed an executive order effectively banning American companies from using Huawei's 5G network, Huawei issued a statement, calling the restrictions unreasonable, and infringing upon its rights. It asserted that Trump's decision would only hinder the development of fifth generation of mobile networks or 5G technology in the U.S.
Earlier, the company had also discounted fears of any adverse impact on its revenue.
Huawei's Executive Director David Wang said earlier that Huawei's position in this regard is "consistent." In addition, he pointed out that any change in one country has little impact on Huawei's global business.
The U.S. and a few other nations believe that Huawei poses a security threat, a charge which many experts say is not supported by evidence.
M.I.T. Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte has also questioned these accusations, calling Trump administration's Huawei policy a geopolitical move.
But the company is still willing to address all concerns of foreign governments by offering to sign a no-spy agreement, while vehemently denying that its work poses risks of espionage.
In the mobile phone arena, Huawei is currently the largest Chinese vendor by volume and the No. 2 worldwide by sales, just behind Samsung. They produce some of the most advanced chips in the world, including those in mobile phones and artificial intelligence (AI) processors.
On Wednesday, it unveiled a domestic AI database named "GaussDB," which combines data and intelligence and embeds AI capabilities in distributed databases.
But the jewel in the Huawei's crown seems to be the company's pre-eminence in 5G technology.
In January, the company launched the world's first core chip specifically designed for 5G base stations.
Huawei says the chipset, called Tiangang, will support simplified 5G networks and large-scale network deployment around the globe.
It also launched its first 5G Modem known as Balong 5000, which it claims is the world's most powerful modem.
As the U.S. attempts to block Huawei's rise, the company has secured over 30 foreign commercial 5G contracts, shipping over 25,000 5G base stations globally.
According to tech experts, 5G is indispensable to developing the technology of the future. So a blocking campaign is bound to fail.