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The 5G next-generation wireless technology will play a major role in national critical infrastructures. However, as world competition over the super-fast 5G mobile networks development heats up, concerns regarding the use of Huawei technology are escalating. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently that the US will stop sharing intelligence with countries that use Huawei hardware in their core communication systems. Huawei, a Chinese multinational company, is the world’s largest supplier of telecoms network equipment.
The US is concerned that China would use security back doors to exert undue control over a nation’s digital infrastructure via Huawei’s equipment. It is feared that the company’s 5G technology will enable Chinese espionage.
“If a country adopts this [Huawei equipment] and puts it in some of their critical information systems, we won’t be able to share information with them, we won’t be able to work alongside them,” Pompeo said during an interview with Fox Business. “In some cases there’s risk — we won’t even be able to co-locate American resources, an American embassy, an American military outpost,” he added, according to technologyreview.com.
Pompeo’s remarks are a major escalation in tensions between the US and its allies over the role of Huawei. Britain, New Zealand, and Germany all signaled that they may be willing to continue using Huawei gear as they prepare their infrastructure for the arrival of 5G.
Confusingly, on the same day as Pompeo’s comments, President Donald Trump tweeted that he wanted the US to win in 5G development “through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.”
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said the company has never installed back doors into its technology and never would do so, even if required to by Chinese law.