Next month, Malaysia plans to launch a series of demonstrations of 5G projects in a move to become the first country in the region to roll out the new technology.
“It is hoped that Malaysia’s early commitment to 5G, to rapidly deploying 5G testbeds and nationwide demonstration projects, will position the country as one of the leaders of 5G adoption in the world,” Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia’s minister of communications and multimedia, said.
Malaysian companies such as Axiata’s Celcom, Telekom Malaysia and Maxis have already sealed a number of contracts with Huawei for the use of 5G technology.
The affordability of Huawei products has become a major driver that has led Malaysia to continue cooperating with the Chinese tech giant despite US spying allegations by the US and the company's subsequent blacklisting by the US Department of Commerce.
Huawei found itself in a troubled situation in May after the US Department of Commerce placed it on a ban list. The US Commerce Department, however, gave the company two 90-day exemption licenses after US tech giants, including Intel and Microsoft, calculated that they stood to lose billions of dollars if their right to sell their processors, software, and other equipment to Huawei was severed at that time.
The ban was issued hot on the hills of a US accusation that Huawei had been collaborating with the Chinese military and intelligence services, as well as using its equipment for illegal surveillance purposes - claims that both the Chinese authorities and the company have refuted.