Huawei expands globally despite US crackdown

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/22 22:13:41

Rising positive tones show cracks in Washington

Visitors at the venue of Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai on Thursday. Photo: Shen Weiduo/GT

Chinese telecom behemoth Huawei Technologies has made strides over the past few days in expanding its presence globally, from striking deals in Brazil to opening 5G facilities in the UK, in a show of resilience in the face of what could have been a crippling US crackdown.

The rising positive attitude toward Huawei from countries, including some of the US' closest allies, also highlights small cracks in the US political campaign and the futility of Washington's intention to arbitrarily shut down a Chinese company to deprive China of game-changing technologies, an analyst said on Sunday.

In its second major move in Brazil within two months, Huawei will join forces with Chinese carrier China Mobile in a potential bid to purchase Brazilian carrier Oi SA, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing local reports.

Oi, which filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and has since been struggling, has 360,000 kilometers of fiber infrastructure that could be an attractive asset in the deployment of 5G network in Latin America's largest market, according to Reuters.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment from the Global Times as of press time on Sunday.

Huawei has been expanding in Brazil, where officials have vowed not to bar the Chinese company from its 5G rollout despite Washington's lobbying.

In early August, Huawei announced that it would invest $800 million in a new factory in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo over the next three years, with robust policy support from the Brazilian government. The plant will make smartphones and is a move in anticipation of 5G deployment in the country.

Those moves came after Brazilian officials vowed not to heed US calls to ban Huawei. During a trip to China in June, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao explicitly said it would not bar Huawei from its 5G network. 

US President Donald Trump tried to lobby Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the latter's visit to Washington in March to bar Huawei.

Jiang Junmu, chief writer at the telecom industry news website, who covers Huawei closely, said that global expansion was never a problem for Huawei because ultimately countries will decide based on their own interests and the merits of Huawei's technologies and equipment. "In the end, it's all about technologies, as it should be," he said. 

"The key here is that the US has shown futility [in its crackdown campaign against Huawei]," Jiang told the Global Times on Sunday, noting that even US allies will eventually rethink their stances.

Brazil is not the only country that defied the US' pressure and extended a welcome to the Chinese company. Huawei on Friday opened a 5G training center in Birmingham, the UK, where officials have been reluctant to heed mounting US pressure over the Huawei issue.

On Thursday, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made it clear that her country's decision over Huawei will be an independent one, in clear reference to Washington's influence. 

"New Zealand has its own legislation, and an independent foreign policy... We have a framework that helps us as a nation make decisions around communication and security issues that actually sits separate from our political process," Ardern said in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review in Tokyo.

It is worth noting that the UK and New Zealand are part of what's known as the Five Eyes alliance that shares intelligence. The alliance also includes Australia, Canada and the US, which has been fixated on pressuring partners to bar Huawei.

Newspaper headline: Huawei expands despite US ban

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