Huawei, a massive Chinese tech corporation, is making major progress in its race to implement next-generation networks known as 5G, Reuters reported Friday.
The company is working with telecommunications operators in countries throughout Asia and Europe, potentially portending that China will beat out America in being the first with full-scale 5G wireless connectivity. Another Chinese firm, ZTE, which is fairly similar to Huawei, is also making a huge push for the advanced technology by reportedly fundraising billions of dollars for its like-minded goals for a 5G infrastructure.
The apparent international embrace of Huawei comes after the highest U.S. intelligence officials, as well as lawmakers, collectively warned against the two aforementioned Chinese companies. (RELATED: The Race To 5G Technology: How America Could Lose Out On The Next Biggest Thing)
“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI Director Chris Wray testified during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing earlier in the month, according to CNBC. “That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”
ZTE later responded to the dire concerns expressed by the officials with defensiveness, but also a promise that it always adheres “to all applicable laws and regulations of the United States.”
Legislators also voiced national security concerns specifically to AT&T, a U.S.-based tech company trying to develop and execute 5G networks in America, over its commercial ties to Huawei.
Huawei and ZTE, and their respective operations, are often propped up by their homeland government, rendering them quasi-private. With the backing of their country, as well as several others around the world, Huawei can now speed ahead with 5G, presumably much to the ire of U.S. firms and government.
Nevertheless, all five commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission have come out against a nationalization of 5G, an inherent transfer of power China engages in, because, they mostly argue, that the free market is more like to foster technological progress, commercial enterprises, and thus 5G.
“Consumers in the U.S. have benefited from the deployment of world-leading 4G networks precisely because we got the government out of the way,” Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr told The Daily Caller News Foundation in late January. “Any suggestion that the federal government should build and operate a nationwide 5G network is a non-starter.”
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