Mistrust over Huawei after the vice president's arrest



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Madrid Spain. – In recent months, different governments, with the United States in the lead, have expressed concern about the information that Beijing could obtain through products and equipment manufactured by Huawei, putting national security at risk. To such an extent that Donald Trump himself has banned any member of his government from having a Chinese-branded handset. A decision that delayed the development of Huawei in the United States, which despite that, surpassed Apple as the second largest manufacturer of smartphones worldwide.

This rarefied situation for the company was aggravated by Canada's announcement on Wednesday of the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese technology brand Huawei and daughter of the company's founder, on Dec. 1 for violating the law. allegedly US sanctions on Iran. His arrest heightened tensions with the difficult relations between the United States and Beijing, which have just sealed a truce in their trade war.

But the veto of the Chinese technology company goes far beyond. Earlier this week Australia and, shortly before, New Zealand blocked the use of equipment manufactured by Huawei in the development of the new generation of telecommunications infrastructures and in particular the 5G mobile network. The Chinese company is leading the world's technological development in this field, but countries fear that the Chinese regime will use its companies in cyber espionage work, both at the industrial and state level. The Canberra government also vetoed ZTE from China.

Japan and South Korea also analyze Huawei's operations in its territory. US doubts about Huawei's activity spread to Tokyo. The Japanese government decided to exclude both the company and ZTE from public tenders due to alleged security breaches committed by both companies, according to various local media and Efe collections. The veto should be due to doubts about the independence of the two companies and their links with the Chinese government.

If the measure is confirmed, Japan will join the United States, Australia and New Zealand in the block of countries that veto part of the Chinese giant's business for national security reasons, especially regarding the deployment of fifth generation mobile communications networks. (5G)

Several European countries, with the United Kingdom and Germany at the forefront, are seeking an agreement for the European Commission to investigate foreign investment in the field of technology and strategic infrastructure. An initiative aimed at forcing the approval of foreign investments in sectors such as health, the aeronautics industry, the media and, of course, technology and whose main objective is China, although its name is not explicit.

In the UK, British Telecom has just announced on Wednesday that it will eliminate the Huawei equipment that already exists in its 3G and 4G networks in the next two years.

Both London and Berlin plan to auction the radio spectrum for 5G networks next year and the pressures to ban Huawei from this new development are increasing every day. Last summer the German Ministry of Economic Affairs pressed for a legal change by which the government could veto the purchase of companies outside the EU of shares of more than 15% in sectors such as defense, technology or certain critical infrastructure. However, the Chinese company has just opened a laboratory in Bonn on information security, which seems to aim to suppress this kind of suspicion. The cost of the investment planned for the 5G network can reach 80 billion euros in Germany alone.

The development of 5G networks will mark the next global technology wave. This fifth-generation mobile connectivity infrastructure promises download speeds between 10 and 20 times faster than today, greater coverage and more stable connections.

(Originally published in El PaĆ­s)

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