THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Mounting pressure from the United States and the enforcement of the new Hong Kong security legislation has moved the United Kingdom to ban the purchase of Huawei equipment by telecom companies in the country. Huawei has until 2027 to remove its tech from the country’s 5G network.
The U.K. originally stood against U.S. pressure to stop Huawei from building parts of the country’s 5G infrastructure. Huawei was not mentioned in an official decision in January, with the U.K. instead demanding that “high-risk vendors” not be allowed to exceed 35% of the market share, nor allowed to provide equipment for key parts of the infrastructure that could compromise security. The U.K. was also the only holdout among the “Five Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council” – an intelligence-sharing coalition consisting of Australia, Canada, the U.K., the U.S., and New Zealand – in banning Huawei.
Despite sanctions, declining cell phone sales, and coronavirus setbacks, Huawei reportedly maintained positive revenue growth in the first half of 2020 and reported a 13.1% year-over-year revenue growth. Huawei is not a publically traded company and is not required to share its key sources of revenue growth, however, the company did report that “information and communications technologies have become not only a crucial tool for combatting the virus, but also an engine for economic recovery.”
The turn against Huawei also signals a broader stance against China’s aggressive “Wolf Warrior” policy, which emphasizes the aggressive defense of Chinese national interests. Aside from ongoing tensions over its contested border with India, China is once again laying claim to the contested South China Sea in an attempt to take control of vital shipping lanes between Vietnam, Asia, and the Philippines. This “Great Wall of Sand” has been deemed illegal by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who stated, “The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law.”
“South China Sea: What’s China’s plan for its ‘Great Wall of Sand’?” – BBC / Image: UNCLOS, CIA
U.K. to cut Huawei from 5G rollout, in shift that aids Trump’s agenda – Politico – 7/14/2020
The decision to exclude Huawei marks a hardening of the U.K.’s line after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office announced in January that the company would be allowed to sell equipment for 5G networks, but only for peripheral, non-sensitive parts. At the time, cybersecurity officials said that the risk of having Huawei equipment in parts of the network was manageable. However, U.S. sanctions targeting Huawei’s supply chain changed the calculus.
BREAKING: U.K. Bans China’s Huawei From Its 5G Network After Months Of Pressure From Trump Admin – The Daily Wire – 7/14/2020
Much of the discussion on the dangers of allowing China to establish dominance in 5G has been focused on the immediate security concern of using communications networks that China can monitor and surveil. That is, in fact, a monumental danger. For that reason alone, we should mobilize to surmount China’s drive to dominate 5G. […] If China establishes sole dominance over 5G, it will be able to dominate the opportunities arising from a stunning range of emerging technologies that will be dependent on, and interwoven with the 5G platform.
UK chairman of Huawei Technologies resigns ahead of expected ban – South China Morning Post – 7/14/2020
The UK chairman of Huawei Technologies has resigned just days before the government is set to propose a ban of the Chinese tech giant’s equipment in Britain’s 5G networks. John Browne, the former BP boss and a member of the House of Lords, gave two months’ notice of his resignation in the last few days, Sky News reported on Tuesday, just hours before the government’s expected announcement of the ban. Browne’s term had been due to expire next March.
Huawei Sales Rebound Despite U.S. Efforts to Halt Gear Deals – Bloomberg – 7/14/2020
“The complex external environment makes open collaboration and trust in global value chains more important than ever,” Huawei said in the statement. “Huawei has promised to continue fulfilling its obligations to customers and suppliers, and to survive, forge ahead, and contribute to the global digital economy and technological development, no matter what future challenges the company faces.”