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Author Topic: Fair competition to benefit from easing of US ban on Huawei  (Read 25 times)
javajolt
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« on: June 27, 2020, 08:48:01 PM »
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America’s former top trade negotiator Charlene Barshefsky said the Donald Trump administration had “no policy” on China. Perhaps the most obvious example has been its overtly hostile but ultimately directionless assault on mainland 5G pioneer Huawei.

The US government has used cyberspying, hacking, “lawfare”, diplomacy and disinformation – just about every possible tactic – to discredit and undermine the telecoms company. Yet, in the latest twist to this long-standing saga, it will reverse a ban on US firms from working with Huawei to develop 5G infrastructure and protocols.

The reversal comes after top US tech giants complained they had no choice but to work with the blacklisted Chinese company because the latter holds many key patents and has been integral to the development of 5G standard protocols.

Such development has been in the works for many years, involving top global companies and many government agencies under the auspices of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an international collaboration of seven telecoms standard development organizations responsible for evolving mobile system specifications.

Conspicuously, agencies of the United States government have been absent from many of those key gatherings where international standards are developed and adopted. But Beijing, Huawei, and other Chinese tech companies have been among the most active participants, resulting in the leading role they now play.

Since Trump took office, his administration realized too late that the US has lagged far behind in 5G. Its hostile strategy to undermine Huawei and other Chinese firms may at first make sense. But Huawei is too entrenched in the game to be just kicked out of it on the say-so of Uncle Sam.

China’s road to 5G was the industrial policy at its most spectacular. In 2012, two years before China Mobile launched 4G services on the mainland, Chinese companies joined international initiatives such as 3GPP to research and develop 5G infrastructure. Today, the country accounts for 35 percent of 5G standard-essential patents. Of these, about 15 percent are owned by Huawei. By comparison, the share of US firms is estimated at about 13 percent.

US officials should realize they are hurting their own industry and companies by blocking and punishing Huawei. Even if they manage to force some of its key allies to exclude the Chinese telecoms giant from their 5G projects, they will end up suffering delays and having to pay Huawei in terms of royalties.

In light of the latest rule reversal and constructive meetings between the two countries’ top diplomats, it is time for both sides to reach an understanding to enable all hi-tech companies to compete fairly and reap the rewards of their pioneering efforts.

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