16:17 GMT15 January 2021
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    As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's government is seeking to exclude Huawei from Brazil's 5G networks, the country's farm state of Goias recently launched a pilot program that relies on hardware and technology from the Chinese telecommunications firm.

    Augusto Heleno, Bolsonaro's national security adviser, and Brazil's ministry of communications are examining the necessary security provisions laid out for telecommunications companies in a new presidential decree, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter. 

    Despite China being Brazil's largest trade partner, Bolsonaro appears to be following US President Donald Trump's lead in opposing Huawei's 5G network. 

    The Brazilian president has insisted that the Chinese telecommunications company shares its confidential data with Beijing.  

    Critics of Bolsonaro's push to block Huawei have argued that a presidential decree on the matter could lead to legal fallout with companies already using Huawei equipment. 

    Goias, for example, unveiled a Huawei-backed pilot project on Thursday that combines real-time cloud data processing with fast broadband communications to astronomically accelerate the transfer of data for soy farmers. 

    “We launched this application for soy to show how 5G used with drones can raise productivity and reduce herbicide costs,” explained Huawei Brazil marketing director Tiago Fontes.

    The decree's resulting legal battle also threatens the planned June 2021 auction of 5G spectrum frequencies. 

    “Regulator Anatel needs legal provisions to set the rules for the 5G auction,” a source told Reuters on Tuesday. “Instructions from the president’s security adviser is not enough, so they’re looking at a presidential decree to back up any restriction on Huawei.”

    “If set rules restrict one company without a plausible justification, it would not be upheld in court,” the second source explained to the outlet. “That would not only delay technological advance but impact other areas of Brazil’s trade relationship with China." 

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    Tags:
    Jair Bolsonaro, Huawei, 5G, Brazil
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