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The Chinese company and the world's biggest producer of telecommunications gear has been in the crosshairs with a senior executive in Canada and an employee in Poland having been arrested, along with a US push to blacklist its equipment.
Professor Yifan Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has said that the scandal around Huawei should be considered as part of a broader rivalry between the powers over 5G technology.
Sputnik: Huawei is looking to transfer its technologies to the nations where "they are welcomed". Where can the company offer its services?
Yifan Zhang: There hasn’t been any supporting evidence of the allegations. It is pure speculation based on the distrust of the government-business relationship in China, i.e., every Chinese company could spy for the Chinese government. I call it the new “Made-in-China Stigma”. In the past, Chinese products were often labelled as a cheap and inferior substitute for the more advanced western products. This is the old “Made-in-China stigma” faced by Chinese firms. Today some Chinese companies like Huawei have emerged as technology leaders in the world. But they face the new “Made-in-China stigma” when they have to deal with the market access restrictions set by western governments citing political reasons.
Sputnik: Many experts have noted that the stance against Huawei is prompted by the race to 5G between China and the US. What do you make of such an approach by the US against a competitor?
Yifan Zhang: Huawei has been the frontrunner of the 5G technology, the future of the telecommunication industry. We will have to consider the Huawei incident in a broader background of the race to 5G between China and the US. Another consideration is the ongoing China-US trade war. Huawei could be put on the table in the current China-US trade negotiation.
Sputnik: So far countries like Australia, the UK and Germany have supported the US policy against the company. In what way do they benefit from doing this?
Yifan Zhang: If they ban Huawei, the deployment of the 5G networks in these countries will be slower and more expensive. Eventually, the consumers will pay a price.
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