The Government of the United States, through the Department of Commerce, has established a set of restrictions on the Chinese technological company Huawei—whose smartphones are among the most distributed in the world.
Last week it was disallowed to demand software and hardware from American companies. For this reason Google decided not to submit updates for Android whilst Intel and Qualcomm -among others- followed Mountain View entity stopping from providing chips and processors.
However, the government finally decided to issue a “temporary general license” that «scales back restrictions imposed earlier by Washington on [Huawei’s] ability to buy US goods as a means to help existing customers, according to Reuters. The temporary license lasts until 19 August».
Those “upheaval” is happening in the midst of a geopolitical conflict -involving a trade war- between the US and China -but not since 2017 as progressive transatlantic media tries to suggest. But what are the real reasons that are lying behind that “veto”?
Huawei is alleged to be a “national security threat”
The executive order prohibits transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary whenever the secretary of commerce determines that a transaction would pose a threat to national security
Besides, it is said that China has been spying the US since a long time ago -it affects both public and private institutions related to a diverse range of areas such as defense and finance. Nobody would doubt it provided that China is under a communist totalitarian regime.
By the way, we should remind that Huawei‘s founder is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, what proves that China is not a case for free trade, but the opposite—with companies that are allied with the government, following crony capitalism.
5G Networks Competition
The installation of 5G networks is the next step of “technological revolution”. Which is the fifth generation of mobile phones may provide a lot of advantages to areas such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, automation and the so-called “Internet of Things”.
Telecommunications and hardware companies are showing a big interest in this technology. Huawei is one of them. It wants to build 5G networks overseas—for this reason it is trying to reach agreements with many operators.
American companies like Verizon and AT&T would count on that Asian company as Donald Trump is concerned about a hypothetical leadership of non-American technological entities when it comes to the building and manufacturing of 5G services and networks.
The US president wants American private companies to lead the deployment of 5G networks in their country. A new wireless spectrum auction was announced just one month ago—it would be held next December 10.
So it is not so clear that the “national security threat” may be the key reason for those government restrictions. Trump wants to promote “Made in USA” products whereas some companies might be pressuring the White House to blind them from “foreign competition”.
Anyway there is no moral justification for the White House meddling in trade affairs. It should let American tech companies competing with Huawei and developing different hardware and software solutions -also regarding security. Engaging a trade conflict is just harming.