What’s Wrong With Huawei, and Why Are Countries Banning It?
As governments seek to ensure 5G is secure, Huawei could be in trouble due to its links to the Chinese government.
The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is under scrutiny around the globe over concerns that its close ties with the Chinese government present national security threats to the US, Europe and allied countries.
Huawei, which against it, is “” and has plans to “” for the next generation of . But its hopes are threatened by governments around the world, which are restricting the company’s prospects and even banning it from operating in some areas.
As far back as 2003, the company was , including from US-based network hardware maker Cisco. The companies , but Huawei has other firms’ intellectual property and violating international economic sanctions.
Throughout 2018, a flurry of activity has signaled the level of concern in the international intelligence community, and pressure on the company – and other Chinese technology firms – has mounted.
Months of Setbacks
On 17 July, the intelligence chiefs of the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand , in part to make plans to publicise their concerns about allowing Huawei equipment to operate in their countries and governments.
Two days later, the United Kingdom’s government-run lab reported finding “” in Huawei’s engineering processes that raised security risks. After a big push from the British government, to address those problems.
In mid-August, the US Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed, a law specifically US from purchasing or using telecommunications and surveillance products from Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei – both of which are .
A week later, Australia announced a similar ban, barring firms “to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government” from supplying equipment for its . The announcement did not specifically name Huawei or ZTE, but Huawei criticised the decision as political and based in “,” rather than actual security concerns.
Days after Meng’s arrest, the private company that dominates UK telecommunications, BT Group, announced it was from its existing mobile networks, and would not use Huawei technology in future mobile systems.
The US charges against Meng and the company itself are the latest development raising pressure on the company and the Chinese government.
Tensions Over Evidence
Tensions between free commerce and national security are not new. Security skeptics, and those who favour free and open trade, will supporting the claims that Huawei, ZTE or other foreign companies have spied, or might spy, on conversations and data transmissions.
The situation with these Chinese companies is even more challenging, because the full extent of any relationship between Huawei and the Chinese government is masked. However, it’s extremely rare for the US and allied governments to take the sorts of steps they have taken to . Those moves suggest that – even without detailed public proof – there is solid evidence supporting the intelligence community’s worries.
The focus of many security agencies and countries on Huawei’s involvement in 5G systems raises the stakes, too.
The next generation of wireless technology is expected to fuel even more connectivity in the “internet of things,” linking smart cars, smart homes and smart cities together.
As governments seek to ensure 5G is secure and trusted around the world, Huawei may find its prospects limited by its links to the Chinese government.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
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