Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. are implementing a “concerted strategy” to block Huawei from next-generation networks, according to Kevin Allison from the Eurasia group.
Talking to CNBC, Allison added that the U.S. is leading the strategy by pushing allies to shut out Huawei’s 5G network technology on national security grounds. This is because 5G technology is expected to play a major role in 21st-century communications, and Huawei has been suspected of acting as a proxy for Chinese government security forces.
In recent weeks Japan has announced that it will stop buying Huawei technology for government and the military, while Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. have all said that they will exclude Huawei technology from their new 5G networks.
Muddying the waters further, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested by Canadian officials in Vancouver on December 1st at the request of the United States. Meng allegedly helped Huawei circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Her arrest has heightened tensions between the U.S. and China and led Marco Rubio to reintroduce legislation to ban Huawei and other Chinese telecoms from the U.S. Meanwhile, executives from both the U.S. and China have become wary of travelling to the other country, for fear of retaliation or more arrests.
Keeping Chinese technology out of the U.S. and its allies may result in a “split” in 5G networks, according to Allison, where some networks are built with Chinese technology and some without.
Josh Kallmer, executive vice president for policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, told CNBC that governments should work to strike a balance between national security and commercial interests.