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Governments' positions on Chinese 5G technology.

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Yesterday, New Zealand blocked Chinese telecom firm Huawei from building out a 5G network in the country—after Australia did the same in August. New Zealand intelligence officials informed a major NZ carrier that using Huawei's 5G equipment would "raise significant national security risks."

About the risks: 

Some countries worry that Huawei will use its powerful technology to spy on or disrupt communications on behalf of the Chinese government. 

The threat is so real that the U.S. government has reportedly started an "extraordinary" effort to encourage allies to block Huawei (the largest telecom equipment maker in the world) from supplying 5G infrastructure. 

As the U.S.-China conflict rages on, we are seeing a divide between countries that are comfortable with using next-gen Chinese tech...and ones that aren't. On Monday, Papua New Guinea said it's sticking to its deal with Huawei.

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Trump outlined a very high-tech ambition: challenging U.S. companies to go beyond 5G network technology to...6G tech.


FYI, wireless carriers around the world are gunning to get 5G to market first. AT&T launched 5G in 12 cities last year. And Verizon announced plans to launch in 30 cities by year-end.

But the real challenge to U.S. carriers isn’t each other. Major Chinese telecom Huawei is leading the pack in 5G (and looks poised to start on its own 6G soon).

  • Remember, the Trump administration has urged U.S. firms and allies to avoid Huawei tech in their 5G rollouts, alleging it could be spying for the Chinese government.
  • The U.S. is having trouble convincing those allies.

But Trump could be adopting a new tone. He made no mention of Huawei on Twitter yesterday, opting for a competitive spirit over “blocking out” rivals (as was the M.O. before).

Bottom line: Some have taken Trump’s Huawei omission as an olive branch. And with trade talks dragging on, the president could be looking to soften up Beijing.

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