Huawei, Security and 5G Network Contracts: The Global Debate
Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest IT companies, had hoped to cash in on 5G network build-outs worldwide. But security, privacy and spying concerns tied to the China-based company continue to intensify. The result: Huawei could be blocked from bidding on a range of 5G network contracts worldwide.
Critics allege Huawei could spy for China’s government — a charge that CEO Ren Zhengfei firmly denies.
Among the latest developments:
- Congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle this month proposed bills to ban exports of chips or other gear to Huawei, ZTE and any Chinese telecom that runs afoul of U.S. sanctions or export laws.
- Germany’s government is debating whether to exclude Huawei from 5G mobile network build outs. Similar debates are growing louder in Australia, across Europe and in North America.
- Germany’s BDI industry association has come to Huawei’s defense, saying no company should be excluded from the 5G network bidding process if there is no evidence against them, Reuters says.
- U.S. federal prosecutors are pursuing a criminal case against Huawei for alleged theft of trade secrets.
- Huawei has fired an employee who was arrested in Poland on spying charges…
Huawei: Riding or Missing the 5G Network Wave?
The stakes are extremely high for Huawei as 5G network build outs worldwide begin to accelerate. Indeed, 2019 is “set to be a seminal year in the mobile industry. 5G handsets will begin to hit the market and end-users will be able to experience 5G technology firsthand,” IDC predicts.
Spending on 5G-related network equipment will hit $26 billion in 2022, up from $528 million in 2018, delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 118%, IDC estimates.
Amid all the debate about Huawei, the technology giant has vowed to spend about $2 billion overhauling its cybersecurity. The company asserts that it does not work for China’s government. And the firm is now warning that it could shift away from Western countries and global partnerships if it continues to face restrictions.