Huawei’s security troubles are hardening into a fight between the US and China

For months, telecommunications companies around the world have been struggling with what to do with Huawei. USA UU It has effectively excluded the company from US telecommunications networks, citing national security concerns, but since the rest of the world faces the same choice, not everyone is convinced that Huawei is a threat. Most of the experts from the USA UU They consider that Huawei's exposure to the Chinese government is dangerous in itself, but as time passes, the national division is becoming increasingly difficult.

This week, two prominent figures took sides, for reasons that seemed more political. that technology On Friday in Geneva, the head of the ITU, Houlin Zhao, publicly demonstrated against the ban. "If you find something wrong, then you can charge [Huawei] and accuse them," Zhao said. "But if we do not have anything to put them on the blacklist, I think this is not fair." Zhao was born in China and worked in the government's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications before moving on to the UN telecommunications union, so it's no surprise that he worries about the lack of evidence against the company.

At the same time, US officials are increasingly insisting that all Chinese companies are potentially suspicious. On Thursday, in a cybersecurity forum, DHS's head of cybersecurity and infrastructure, Chris Krebs, said the main concern was the legal regime of the country of origin, rather than the specific product that is sent.

"Our focus is not on the country of origin or the company, but rather on the rule of law in which that product is potentially subject," Krebs said. The same logic could be applied to other Chinese companies or to Russian exports such as Kaspersky Lab's antivirus software. As Krebs expressed it, "it is the rise of authoritarian states and the way in which their technological sectors are operating".

The different readers will sympathize with the different sides, but it is increasingly difficult to see how the argument can be solved with technical analysis. Increasingly, the struggle for Huawei looks like a fight between the United States and China, with everyone else caught in the middle. And if this week's statements are a sign, it's a fight that will go on and on.

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