Should we fear 5G? Should we fear China? Should we fear Huawei? There are many questions to be asked about Huawei, ethical concerns, and also who has access to our information, globally. It is sporadic for governments to go after a private company or an emerging corporation. Why is Huawei such a threat to the United States and perhaps the world?
Huawei is now the largest technology company in the world, founded in China in 1987. Today it is the largest seller of telecommunications equipment. Revenues have exceeded over one-hundred and three billion dollars, Huawei is a great company and could be a future powerhouse. When we think of Huawei, we think of handsets, phones, and gadgets. In 2015 the company sold two-hundred-million handsets. However, half of their profits and sales come from selling network equipment.
One thing that worries governments around the world, more so the United States, is the part of the company aiding with the development of cities, infrastructure, and transportation. Huawei is one of the three largest technology companies selling networking equipment. According to the Economist, in 2014, Huawei outgrew all of its competing companies, reaching nearly three billion people.
President Trump has said that he would like to see American technology companies start involving themselves with 5G and emerging telecommunications companies. Even 6G could be even more powerful. The most significant impact of 5G is associated with the internet and automation. An example of this is self-driving cars. We will need 5G to do such. In a sense, 5G could bring the world together even further than it already has. There are many possibilities, but with warnings.
Many people are worried about “a hostile power,” that being China, being a leader in 5G networking. Perhaps, technology in general. China is known for its state-run media, controlling the internet through online patrolling agents, and suppressing the press. Is this at all relevant? President Trump has said numerous times, “5G companies and technologies must be secured and must be strong”. However, according to the same video documentary in the Economist, there is a problem with this powerful technology. The power of 5G and allowing a world-wide system to have access to our information, this could lead to countries spying on each other. It could is used as a weapon.
Ren Zhen, the CEO and founder of Huawei, said, “I do not understand the political motivation surrounding the company.” Telecommunications for rural areas, specifically for farmers, ranchers, and communities outside of major cities, are now relying on Huawei products. A lot of Huawei’s products are below the average market price. However, there is speculation and denial among Americans. The Chinese government has Huawei heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. Meaning, it is more accessible to provide cheaper products of higher quality. The argument by leaders in politics and technology, specifically in the west, that when we buy a Huawei product, we are essentially providing our information to the Chinese security service agency, giving them full access.
It is giving many governments worrying signs because not only does this affect individuals, but companies and government agencies, specifically within the United States and its allies. With looming regulations and restrictions against Huawei domestically against Huawei in the United States, it is affecting local and rural broadband technologies. It is hindering more than hurting. President Trump’s trade war with China is explicitly targeting not just financial and trade deals, but also the rise of Chinese technologies. Cyberspace, the internet, telecommunications, and perhaps nanotechnologies, China is making huge steps in being a global leader in technology. Many people are benefiting from Chinese technology products.
The argument by eastern nations, some people in the west who are not biased against China, and media outlets, specifically the Economist, is that the regulations of Chinese technology in the United States and perhaps other western nations are targeting China’s rise as a global superpower. China is making tremendous progress globally in technology, innovation, and science and engineering. China is a force to be reckoned with. However, there is no doubt that Sino-US relations will be the most important bilateral ties in the coming decades. It will define international relations in the twenty-first century, whether bound by diplomacy or confrontation. My argument is that China is not imposing itself on the world. They are seeking friendship. Nor through force and strength, such as the United States. They do not want to make enemies, seeking peaceful solutions to global problems.
China is on the rise, which could be a good thing. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, American policing around the world has caused massive blow-back. The irony is, a rising hegemony, China is not seeking to be a global police force, but rather make relationships work. We see this in making deals with nations around the world, more so in developing Asia. Granted, China has values and principles; they will not compromise. We must respect that. However, there is denial among Americans and members of the government that the decline of the American Empire will never occur. Perhaps, it is time to allow a new nation to be a leader on the global stage. China is a nation that has its internal problems, but who are we to judge how they conduct their affairs. How is the United States any different? We have a prejudice against African Americans, Latinos, and purposely pass laws to hinder their success. We have biases. So does China against Muslims int their western regions. The point is, Americans do not realize how hypocritical we are towards the affairs of others when we are just as abusive with power, if not more than other nations are.