Europe has much to lose by following US on Huawei

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/22 21:45:17

File photo: IC

Despite being blacklisted by the Trump administration, Huawei has reaffirmed its commitment to roll out 5G and expressed its wish to do it in "the European way." 

Abraham Liu, Huawei's chief representative to the EU Institutions, said on Tuesday in Brussels that the company's 5G solution "is the best on the market" and "is tailor-made for Europe's needs and challenges."

It seems that Europe has become an important middle ground for the Chinese telecom giant to seek support in its battle against US bullying. 

While there will be no winner in this escalating China-US trade war that saw Huawei blacklisted by the US, how to reduce the negative impact is the question that all interested parties should consider. Seen in this light, Europe cannot just be a bystander on Huawei. 

For starters, the US' move to blacklist Huawei has directly harmed the interests of Europe, which is one of the company's key international markets. Huawei has been cooperating with Europe for many years in many fields, including in third-party market exploration, not to mention that the Chinese company's 5G solutions were co-developed by Europeans. In 2018, Huawei made purchases of more than 5.6 billion euros ($6 billion) of European goods and services. Many European countries have embraced Huawei's telecom equipment, and European consumers have used its smartphones. Moreover, from the technology perspective, Huawei has maintained a clean record in terms of complying with European rules and regulations. 

Huawei has been operating for nearly 20 years in Europe, where it has 12,200 employees. Although there is competition between the Chinese company and its European peers, the European market always ends up getting the most efficient technology through competition, which is totally justified.

Europe may find itself in the crosshairs due to the restrictions the US has imposed on Huawei, but it is not that hard to choose the sensible side. While resisting pressure from the US government, Huawei maintains an open attitude toward American companies and European companies as it seeks cooperation. Making the right choice will undoubtedly bring more opportunities for Europe.

If Europe follows the US in politically boycotting Huawei, it would lose not just Huawei, but its own bottom line and foundation as a superpower in this multi-polar world.

Last but not least, since the EU and the US have been engaged in contentious trade negotiations for some time, it is not hard to imagine that Europe will only have more difficult days to come if it lets the US have its way on Huawei.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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