The Trump administration's trade war against China, namely its campaign against Huawei Technologies, has resulted in decreased influence of US entities in international bodies setting technical standards on 5G, according to a report.
“Continuing to cede leadership roles in these organizations and their associated processes risks a future where 5G, internet, and other standards reflect the values, interests, and priorities of nations that do not share our approach of an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable [Information and Communications Technology] ecosystem,” Megan Stifel, Global Cyber Alliance executive director for the Americas, told Nextgov.
— Nextgov (@Nextgov) April 30, 2020
Ms Stifel explored ways to boost US involvement in international standards groups after former President Obama's launched a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity via Executive Order in 2016.
The Commission advised boosting support for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and installing a National Cyber director to boost American companies and academic bodies, among others.
According to Ms Stifel, the Solarium Commission report evidenced a "need for strong US government and industry leadership on standards for [information and communication technologies]", among others.
Such leadership was due to the "critical role standards play" in developing technologies "essential to our everyday lives, our economy, and our national security", she added.
"The results may include decreased market opportunities, competition, and most critically, privacy and security in a global economy dependent on ICTs,” she concluded.
— Megan *keep flattening the curve* (@MeganStifel) April 24, 2020
Huawei Leads in Contributions to International 5G Standards Bodies Despite US Trade War on China
The comments come as Huawei and other Chinese entities have taken the lead in 5G standards bodies such as the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The world's largest IT equipment provider remained the top contributor to 3GPP standards, with Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and China Mobile following, respectively, according to an IEEE report.
Sue Rudd, director of networks and services, said that Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia had "made more significant contributions" than other companies, with the former leading in terms of "overall contributions to the end-to-end 5G standards".
— mitchparkerciso (@mitchparkerciso) April 28, 2020
“I sit on IEEE standards committee calls. The US is now no longer the dominant country,” Mitch Parkerciso, chief information security officer for Indiana University Health, tweeted on Tuesday.
Former State Department official involved in the National Security Council, Michael Sellitto, added: “Can't blame other countries or foreign companies for having influence if the US doesn't show up.”
The Trump administration placed Huawei on an Entity List in May last year, barring US chipmakers and other tech firms such as Google and Microsoft from buying and selling with Beijing, citing national security and threats that the tech giant could be used to spy for the Chinese government.
Both Beijing and Huawei have sharply and routinely denied the allegations and demanded to see evidence from Washington, with the latter responding by developing processors, mobiles and software independent of US components as well as launching its own Mobile Services platform and map kit in 2020.